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ChmsTian Classics ErheneaL Liknany 


Nicene and 
Post-Nicene Fathers 
Series I, Volume 11 


Philip Schaff 


ChmsTian Classics 

r > >gjj 

Erbeneal Libnany 


NPNF1-11. Saint Chrysostom: Homilies on the Acts 
of the Apostles and the Epistle to the Romans 


i 


Author(s): 

Publisher: 

Description: 


Subjects: 


Schaff, Philip (1819-1893) (Editor) 

Grand Rapids, Ml: Christian Classics Ethereal Library 

With over twenty volumes, the Nicene and Post-Nicene 
Fathers is a momentous achievement. Originally gathered 
by Philip Schaff, the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers is a 
collection of writings by classical and medieval Christian 
theologians.The purpose of such a collection is to make their 
writings readily available. The entire work is divided into two 
series. The first series focuses on two classical Christian 
theologians-St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom. St. 
Augustine is one of the most influential and important Chris- 
tian thinkers of all time. In addition to reprinting his most 
popular two works-the Confessions and the City of 
God- these volumes also contain other noteworthy and im- 
portant works of St. Augustine, such as On the Holy Trinity, 
Christian Doctrine, and others. St. John Chrysostom was an 
eloquent speaker and well-loved Christian clergyman. St. 
John took a more literal interpretation of Scripture, and much 
of his work focused on practical aspects of Christianity, par- 
ticularly what is now called social justice. He advocated for 
the poor, and challenged abuses of authority. This volume 
contains St. John Chrysostom's homilies on the Gospel of 
Acts and Romans. The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers is 
comprehensive in scope, and provide keen translations of 
instructive and illuminating texts from some of the greatest 
theologians of the Christian church. These spiritually enlight- 
ening texts have aided Christians for over a thousand years, 
and remain instructive and fruitful even today! 

Tim Perrine 
CCEL Staff Writer 

Christianity 

Early Christian Literature. Fathers of the Church, etc. 


Contents 



1 


Series Title Page 

Preface to the American Edition 2 

Title Page 4 

Preface to Part I. of the Oxford Edition 5 

Preface to Part II. of the Oxford Edition 6 

A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles 12 

Homily I on Acts i. 1, 2. 13 

Homily II on Acts i. 6. 29 

Homily III on Acts i. 12. 40 

Homily IV on Acts ii. 1, 2. 54 

Homily V on Acts ii. 14. 66 

Homily VI on Acts ii. 22. 77 

Homily VII on Acts ii. 37. 89 

Homily VIII on Acts iii. 1. 99 

Homily IX on Acts iii. 12. 107 

Homily X on Acts iv. 1 . 123 

Homily XI on Acts iv. 23. 136 

Homily XII on Acts iv. 36, 37. 146 

Homily XIII on Acts v. 17, 18. 154 

Homily XIV on Acts v. 34. 166 

Homily XV on Acts vi. 8. 179 

Homily XVI on Acts vii. 6, 7. 190 

Homily XVII on Acts vii. 35. 201 

Homily XVIII on Acts vii. 54. 211 

Homily XIX on Acts viii. 26, 27. 227 

Homily XX on Acts ix. 10, 12. 243 

Homily XXI on Acts ix. 26, 27. 253 

Homily XXII on Acts x. 1-4. 267 

Homily XXIII on Acts x. 23, 24. 281 

Homily XXIV on Acts x. 44, 46. 295 

Homily XXV on Acts xi. 19. 307 

Homily XXVI on Acts xii. 1, 2. 317 

iii 



Homily XXVII on Acts xii. 18, 19. 327 

Homily XXVIII on Acts xiii. 4, 5. 335 

Homily XXIX on Acts xiii. 16, 17. 342 

Homily XXX on Acts xiii. 42. 353 

Homily XXXI on Acts xiv. 14, 15. 365 

Homily XXXII on Acts xv. 1. 376 

Homily XXXIII on Acts xv. 13, 15. 384 

Homily XXXIV on Acts xv. 35. 397 

Homily XXXV on Acts xvi. 13, 14. 409 

Homily XXXVI on Acts xvi. 25, 26. 417 

Homily XXXVII on Acts xvii. 1, 2, 3. 425 

Homily XXXVIII on Acts xvii. 16, 17. 433 

Homily XXXIX on Acts xvii. 32-34. xviii. 1. 446 

Homily XL on Acts xviii. 18. 455 

Homily XLI on Acts xix. 8, 9. 465 

Homily XLII on Acts xix. 21, 23. 478 

Homily XLIII on Acts xx. 1. 488 

Homily XLIV on Acts xx. 17-21. 496 

Homily XLV on Acts xx. 32. 505 

Homily XLVI on Acts xxi. 18, 19. 514 

Homily XLVII on Acts xxi. 39, 40. 522 

Homily XLVIII on Acts xxii. 17-20. 530 

Homily XLIX on Acts xxiii. 6-8. 540 

Homily L on Acts xxiii. 31-33. 548 

Homily LI on Acts xxiv. 22, 23. 559 

Homily LII on Acts xxv. 23. 568 

Homily LIII on Acts xxvi. 30-32. 579 

Homily LIV on Acts xxviii. 1 . 588 

Homily LV on Acts xxviii. 17-20. 596 

The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom on Paul's Epistle to the Romans 604 

Preface to Homilies on Romans. 605 

The Argument 608 


IV 



614 


Homily I on Rom. i. 1, 2. 

Homily II on Rom. i. 8. 622 

Homily III on Rom. i. 18. 635 

Homily IV on Rom. i. 26, 27. 644 

Homily V on Rom. i. 28. 651 

Homily VI on Rom. ii. 17, 18. 666 

Homily VII on Rom. iii. 9-18. 678 

Homily VIII on Rom. iv. 1, 2. 695 

Homily IX on Rom. iv. 23. 712 

Homily X on Rom. v. 12. 722 

Homily XI on Rom. vi. 5. 734 

Homily XII on Rom. vi. 19. 748 

Homily XIII on Rom. vii. 14. 766 

Homily XIV on Rom. viii. 12, 13. 787 

Homily XV on Rom. viii. 28. 808 

Homily XVI on Rom. ix. 1. 819 

Homily XVII on Rom. x. 1. 840 

Homily XVIII on Rom. x. 14, 15. 851 

Homily XIX on Rom. xi. 7. 865 

Homily XX on Rom. xii. 1. 882 

Homily XXI on Rom. xii. 4, 5. 890 

Homily XXII on Rom. xii. 14. 899 

Homily XXIII on Rom. xiii. 1. 907 

Homily XXIV on Rom. xiii. 11. 917 

Homily XXV on Rom. xiv. 1, 2. 925 

Homily XXVI on Rom. xiv. 14. 938 

Homily XXVII on Rom. xiv. 25-27. 946 

Homily XXVIII on Rom. xv. 8. 954 

Homily XXIX on Rom. xv. 14. 960 

Homily XXX on Rom. xv. 25-27. 969 

Homily XXXI on Rom. xvi. 5. 978 

Homily XXXII on Rom. xvi. 17, 18. 989 


v 



998 


Index of Subjects 

Indexes 1012 

Index of Scripture References 1013 

Index of Scripture Commentary 1024 

Greek Words and Phrases 1025 

Hebrew Words and Phrases 1138 

Index of Pages of the Print Edition 1139 


vi 



m ChmsTian Classics 
£ T J ]eKea l Libnatiy 


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Series Title Page 


A SELECT LIBRARY 
OF THE 

NICENE AND 
POST-NICENE FATHERS 

OF 

THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. 

EDITED BY 

PHILIP SCHAFF, D.D., LL.D., 

PROFESSOR OF CHURCH HISTORY IN THE UNION THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, 

NEW YORK. 

IN CONNECTION WITH A NUMBER OF PATRISTIC SCHOLARS OF EUROPE 

AND AMERICA. 

VOLUME XI 

SAINT CHRYSOSTOM: 

HOMILIES ON THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES AND 

THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS 

T&T CLARK 
EDINBURGH 


WM. B. EERDMANS PUBLISHING COMPANY 
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN 

— k 
ii 


l 



Preface to the American Edition 


Preface to the American Edition. 


In the preparation of this volume of Chrysostom’s Homilies on Acts and Romans, the 
effort has been to improve the Oxford edition by some changes and corrections, and by the 
addition of critical and explanatory notes. The translation remains substantially unchanged. 
Frequent minor changes have, however, been made in phraseology, where it has seemed to 
me that the sense could thereby be made plainer. Archaic and obsolescent words or expres- 
sions have often been replaced by more idiomatic modern language. In Biblical quotations 
where the translation was an inaccurate rendering of the original, I have substituted either 
the Revised Version or a translation conformed to the recent critical texts. A considerable 
number of errors in the English edition have been corrected. The imperfect state of the 
original text of the Homilies on Acts is a serious embarrassment, alike to translator and 
editor, in this part of the work. Often the reports of the discourses are in hopeless confusion, 
and it is impossible to determine confidently the meaning of what has been reported, much 
less of what the preacher originally said. Happily this remark applies to only a part of the 
exposition. 

The notes which I have added are intended to bring modern criticism into relation with 
the statements of Chrysostom upon points of special difficulty or importance. Sometimes 
they are added by way of correction to what is stated in the text. More frequently however, 
they are intended to present briefly the opinions of critical interpreters upon disputed or 
doubtful points, and thus to supplement for the modern reader the practical expositions of 
these books of the New T estament. At other times it has seemed desirable to explain matters 
which are but lightly touched upon in the text or passed over without explanation or notice. 
There is frequent occasion to observe how the spiritual insight of the great preacher has led 
him, in the case of difficult passages, to a right discernment of the same sense which critical 
exegesis discovers. I trust that these brief annotations, touching upon a great variety of 
points, may contribute somewhat to the usefulness of the edition. 

These notes are distinguished from those of the English editors by having appended to 
them the initials, G. B. S. 

The annotations of the English editors which are so copious upon the Homilies on Acts 
have been, with trifling exceptions, retained and the references have been, so far as possible, 
adapted to the American edition. It is obvious, however, that this adaptation could not be 
perfectly made because but few of the volumes of the American edition of the Homilies had 
appeared when this volume was prepared for the press. References to English editions of 
works not yet accessible in an American edition were, of necessity, left unchanged. Some 


2 



Preface to the American Edition 


small-portions of the work of the English editors which seemed to have no present value 
have been omitted. It is not improbable that still other omissions might well have been 
made, but the editor has been slow to follow his own judgment in this particular in dealing 
with the conscientious and painstaking labors of the Oxford editors. 

It will be noticed that the English notes to the Homilies on Romans are few and brief. 
These have been retained with such adaptations as could be made, and the American editor 
has added a considerable number of statements of critical opinions, together with such ex- 
planations of the course of thought and connections of ideas in difficult passages of the 
Epistle, as seemed desirable and useful. In the Homilies on Romans the state of the text is 
such and the work of the translators so well performed, that one is rarely at a loss to perceive 
the author’s meaning; the nature and limitations of his exposition, however, seem to call 
for occasional supplementing and correction. 

The indexes have been carefully revised. Topics which seemed unimportant and texts 
which are merely quoted or alluded to, without being explained, have often been omitted. 
By this process of revision the size of the indexes has been considerably reduced. It is hoped 
that they will be found sufficient to guide those who consult the volume to what is said upon 
the main themes which find place in it. 

George B. Stevens. 

Yale University, New Haven, March, 1889. 


3 



Title Page 


THE HOMILIES 

OF 

ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, 

ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE, 

ON THE 

ACTS OF THE APOSTLES, 

TRANSLATED, WITH NOTES AND INDICES, BY 

REV. J. WALKER, M.A., 

OF BRASENOSE COLLEGE; 

REV. J. SHEPPARD, M.A., 

OF ORIEL COLLEGE, OXFORD; AND 

REV. H. BROWNE, M.A., 

OF CORPUS CHRISTI COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE. 
REVISED, WITH NOTES, BY 

REV. GEORGE B. STEVENS, Ph.D., D.D., 

PROFESSOR IN YALE UNIVERSITY. 


4 



Preface to Part I. of the Oxford Edition 


Preface to Part I. of the Oxford Edition. 


The present volume of St. Chrysostom on the Acts of the Apostles has been delayed for 
some time by the difficulty of fixing the Text. Some farther account of the grounds on which 
this has been done will be given in the Preface to Part II. (vid. infra.) It may suffice for the 
present to say, that these Homilies appear to have been less carefully reported than usual, 
and published without a revision by the Author. The printed text was formed for the most 
part (Erasmus’s Latin Version entirely) from a manuscript, said to be of the tenth century, 
in which these Homilies are given in a very different form, evidently the work of a later 
hand, and intended to make them read more smoothly. The earlier text, shown to be such 
by internal evidence, and alone followed in the Catena and all other ancient extracts and 
compilations, is preserved in other mss. and appears to have been in general disregarded 
by former editors, from its difficulty. The Translation was originally made from Savile’s 
Text, by the Rev. J. Walker, M.A. of Brasenose College, and the Rev. J. Sheppard, M.A. of 
Oriel College, Oxford. The Editors are much indebted to the Rev. H. Browne, M.A. of Corpus 
Christi College, Cambridge, who has restored the Text and corrected the Translation accord- 
ingly, the difference being frequently so great as to require a passage to be translated anew. 
He has likewise undertaken to prepare the Greek Text for publication, and to supply the 
prefatory matter. Many passages will still be found imperfect and unsatisfactory, but it has 
been thought better to leave them evidently so, than to resort to uncertain conjectures. A 
few conjectural emendations, however, have been admitted into the Text, and many more 
suggested. 

C. Marriott. 

Oxford, Feast of St. James. 1851. 


5 



Preface to Part II. of the Oxford Edition 


Preface to Part II. of the Oxford Edition. 


The manifestly imperfect condition in which these Homilies have come to us may partly 
be accounted for by the circumstances of the times in which they were preached. It was in 
the Easter weeks of the third year of his residence at Constantinople as Archbishop, that St. 
Chrysostom began this course of Sermons; and during all the remaining part of that year 
(a.d. 400), the Capital of the East was kept in constant trouble and alarm by the revolt of 
Gainas and the Goths. Moreover, scarcely had the preaching commenced, when the com- 
plaints from the Churches of Asia Minor were brought (May, 400) before the Metropolitan 
See, which business during many months painfully occupied the Archbishop’s thoughts, 
and eventually demanded his presence at Ephesus. Few of St. Chrysostom’s Sermons were 
originally prepared in writing: certainly these were not: and as certainly the text, drawn up 
by no skilful hand from notes taken during the preaching, can never have been revised by 
the Preacher himself. This was a serious disadvantage: for these Homilies, if only from the 
novelty of the subject, stood especially in need of revision. The Acts of the Apostles, though 
read in the churches in the season between Easter and Pentecost, were seldom preached 
upon; and we find St. Chrysostom complaining in the opening of these Homilies, as also 
on an earlier occasion at Antioch, that this portion of the Scriptures was not so much read 
as it ought to be, nay, that there were “many to whom this Book was not even known.” (p. 
1 and note 1). Hence it is not surprising, if the Preacher was not always understood; and, in 
fact, the attentive reader will not unfrequently see reason to suspect, that the scribe (or “re- 
porter,”) from whose notes the text was formed, did not rightly apprehend the sense of what 
he heard. Nor has the transcriber (or “redactor”) remedied the defects, whatever they may 
have been, of the original report. On the contrary, in other ways, of which we shall have to 
speak presently, he has often perplexed the sense, and sometimes entirely misrepresented 
the Preacher’s meaning. 

The earliest mention of our Homilies is by Cassiodorus (a.d. 514), who relates, that with 
the assistance of friends he caused “the fifty- five Homilies on the Acts, by St. John, Bishop 
of Constantinople,” to be translated into Latin, Opp. t. ii. p. 544. This version unfortunately 
is lost. 1 In the Canons of the Fifth and Sixth General Councils, St. Chrysostom’s view of the 
Seven Deacons in the Acts is cited at length from Horn. xiv. (p. 91). John of Damascus, de 
Fid. Orthod. iii. 15, (a.d. 730), cites as from the second of these Homilies a passage which 
appears in the first, being the comment on i. 9. Photius has an entry in the Bibliotheca relating 


1 From the same Cassiodorus there is extant a short work on the Acts under the title Complexiones Actuum 
Apostolorum ; but this is merely a brief syllabus of the history, and contains nothing in which we could trace a 
reference to St. Chrysostom’s Exposition. 


6 



Preface to Part II. of the Oxford Edition 


to them, but by some mistake the number is given as fifty. Of the Catena on the Acts, com- 
piled by a certain Andreas Presbyter of unknown age and country, but not later than the 
tenth century (for there is a manuscript of that age), a large proportion is taken from St. 
Chrysostom: and the Commentaries of CEcumenius (990) and Theophylact (1077) are in 
many places formed from the Catena: as also are the Scholia in mss. of the Acts. To these 
may be added the Florilegium or Eclogce, a compilation the date of which is unknown, but 
certainly not later than the first half of the eleventh century. The Author of this work seems 
to have resorted to our Homilies once only (Horn. xix. p 139): but there, he, as all the rest 
who have been mentioned, used the text which in the notes we call the old text, and from 
which the present Translation is made. 

For there is another and a widely different text, by which alone, unfortunately, these 
Homilies have been known in modern times, except by the few who have had access to 
Manuscripts. In the National Library at Paris there is (No. 729) a manuscript (in our notes 
marked E, in Par. Ben. 2, D), which the Parisian Editor describes thus: Quorum (of six mss. 
on the Acts) antiquissimus, olim Colb. nunc Reg. 729, scec. X., nitide et accurate scriptus, 
desinit in hom. quinquagesima. (This is a mistake; it reaches to the end of the 55th.) Of the 
other mss. he assigns A. B. C (No. 725, 6, 7), to the twelfth, fourteenth and thirteenth cen- 
turies respectively. These, and a copy in the Library of New College (N), contain the old 
text. Two others D, F, (728, and 73 suppl.) exhibit a text compiled from old and new, and 
with alterations peculiar to itself. Of the six Parisian mss. a full collation was made for “the 
Library of the Fathers:” of N we have at present but a partial collation. 

The ms. E. came into the hands of Erasmus, and from it he made his Latin version, 
down to the end of Hom. liii. and there for some reason which is not explained he goes off 
to the other text, of which he has nowhere taken notice in the preceding Homilies. Of this 
work he says in an Epistle to Tonstal, Bishop of Durham: Ex Chrysostomo in Acta verteram 
homilias tres; cujus operce me pcenituit, cum nihil hie viderem Chrysostomi. Tuo tamen 
hortatu recepi codicem in manum; sed nihil unquam legi indoctius. Ebrius ac stertens 
scriberem meliora. Habet frigidos sensiculos nec eos satis commode potest explicare. In his 
Preface, however, he considerably abates the severity of this censure, and contents himself 
with hinting a doubt whether the work be St. Chrysostom’s: quod stylus concisum quiddam 
et abruptum habeat, id quod aphrasi Chrysostomi videtur alienum: si docti tamen censebunt 
opus Chrysostomo dignum, libenter hoc ego quicquid est suspicionis ponam. 

Of the Greek text, the editio princeps, that of Commelin, professes to be formed from 
manuscripts Biblioth. Palatince Bavarce, Augustance, Pistoriance, of which at present we are 
unable to give any account. Perhaps Commelin’s leading ms. was of a composite order: such 
however is his text; for it occasionally deserts E, to which, as a general rule, it closely adheres. 
This was inconsistent, for the circumstances of the two texts are such, that one or other 
ought to be followed throughout. There can be no valid reason for alternating between the 


7 



Preface to Part II. of the Oxford Edition 


two: for they are not different reports of the same matter, such that between them one might 
hope to approximate to the truth: the one is a refashionment of the other, and where it differs, 
it does so, not because its framer had a more correct report of the Sermons, but because he 
wished to improve upon the materials which lay before him in the other text. 

Commelin’s text, in substance, is retained in all the subsequent editions. Savile, from 
the New College ms. has corrected words and phrases here and there, but in the main his 
text is still that of the editio princeps. (He describes it as composed from the New College 
ms., another belonging to J. A. de Thou (Thuanus), et tertio non itapridem excuso in Ger- 
mania.) The edition of Morel (which commonly goes under the name of Fronto Ducaeus) 
repeats Commelin, but without Savile’s emendations: and the Benedictines (here not 
Montfaucon), though they profess to have collated the Parisian mss., have reprinted with 
but slight improvements, and with not a few disimprovements, the text of Morel. In the 
Parisian reprint of the Benedictine Chrysostom (Par. Ben. 2), the Editor has occasionally, 
but not constantly, recurred to the manuscripts, rarely gives the preference to the text of A. 
B. C., and constantly assumes the inferiority of those copies, in contents and authenticity 
as well as in antiquity, to the manuscript (E), which furnished the Latin version of Erasmus, 
and in substance, as we have explained, the printed text of the original. 

Had the Editors collated the manuscript copies of these Homilies — a labor from which 
they, or those whom they employed, seem to have shrunk — they would probably have re- 
versed their estimate of the relative value of the two recensions. The general superiority of 
the other text in point of sense and coherence, notwithstanding its frequent abruptness and 
uncouthness, is too evident to be called in question. Had they also collated the Catena, 
CEcumenius, Theophylact, and the Scholia, they would have found the external testimony 
to be coincident with the internal evidence to the higher antiquity as well as greater authen- 
ticity of the text which (for the most part unknown) they rejected. It would have been seen 
that this, besides being, with all its faults, incomparably better, was the older of the two; and 
that the other could claim no higher antiquity than that of the manuscript (said to be of the 
tenth century) in which it appears: that it is the work of some scribe, who, offended by the 
manifest abruptness and ruggedness of the earlier text, set himself to smooth out the diffi- 
culties, and to make it read more easily. For this is clearly the true state of the case. With 
this view, the scribe sometimes alters words and phrases, sometimes transposes: often omits, 
where he found something that he did not understand, oftener still amplifies, or rather dilutes: 
and interpolates matter which sometimes is demonstrably borrowed with little disguise 
from the Catena (see p. 113, note 1; 279, note 3; 280, note 2); or which, when it is his own, 
is little worth. In short, he has thought more of sound than of sense, and if he could make 
a passage run smoothly to the ear, has given himself little concern whether St. Chrysostom 
was likely to have so thought, or so expressed himself. The notes appended to our T ranslation 
will abundantly substantiate this censure. To have noted all the variations, either of the 



Preface to Part II. of the Oxford Edition 


printed text, or of E alone, would have been a task as unprofitable as it was wearisome: 
perhaps as it is, we have given more than enough to vindicate the claims of the older text. 
If any one desires larger materials for comparison, Erasmus’ Latin version, which, except 
in the two last Homilies, keeps close to E, will show that the text which we represent in our 
Translation is, with all its imperfections, incomparably the better of the two. Even if it were 
otherwise and were the alterations not, as they mostly are, disfigurements, but, considered 
in themselves, decided improvements, still our duty was plain: the text which came to us 
accredited by all the testimony known to be extant, we were not at liberty to reject in favor 
of an alien recension, unknown to the Ancients, and, as far as our evidence goes, unheard 
of before the tenth century. Therefore, in forming the text for this Translation we have en- 
tirely dismissed E, except where it has preserved readings which came strictly under the 
description of “various readings.” 

But while confining ourselves to that older text, we were not to leave unnoticed its more 
patent defects and errors. We could not but perceive, that we had before us an unrevised 
report of St. Chrysostom’s Sermons, which, especially in the Expositions, was frequently 
imperfect — sometimes, indeed, little more than a set of rough notes thrown together, with, 
apparently, little or no attempt at arrangement. So far as this imperfection was caused by 
the reporter’s negligence or incapacity, there was no remedy: and leaving the matter as we 
found it, or, at most, inserting in the text the marks of a lacuna, we have only ventured, in 
the notes, to surmise what may have been the general purport of St. Chrysostom’s remarks. 
In other places, where the defects of our sources seemed to be rather chargeable upon the 
redactor, we have sought to apply a remedy, sometimes, but rarely, by conjectural emenda- 
tion; very often by inserting portions of sacred text or other connecting matter in [], and 
also by transposing parts which had fallen out of their true order. For it seems that the ori- 
ginal transcript from the reporter’s notes was defective in these two regards. (1) The reporter 
would frequently omit to note in his tablets the Kefpevov or some other text of Scripture, 
or would indicate it in the shortest possible way by a word or two at the beginning and 
ending of the passage, intending to insert it afterwards at his leisure. It appears, however, 
that in many places this was either not done at all, or done in the wrong place. Hence where 
the text seemed incurably defective or perplexed, we have often been able to restore coherency 
by the simple expedient of inserting texts which were omitted, or else, by removing the texts 
altogether, and redistributing them among the comments. Almost any page of the Transla- 
tion, especially in the Recapitulations, will illustrate this remark. 

(2) It often happens, that the order of the comments both in the first and in the second 
exposition (or recapitulation), does not follow the order of the texts. Of course the Preacher 
might be supposed to have sometimes returned upon his own steps, but it was scarcely 
conceivable that St. Chrysostom should have delivered an Exposition perplexed, as we often 
found it, by disj ointed remarks thrown together without the slightest method. It was necessary 


9 



Preface to Part II. of the Oxford Edition 


therefore to consider whether it might not be possible to educe something like connected 
exposition, by assuming that the reporter’s notes had been transcribed from his tablets in 
a wrong order. Where it could be seen that one sentence or portion was given as comment 
on such a verse, another on some other verse, and so on, some clue to the true order was 
given us in the sequence of the texts themselves. Even so, the difficulties which beset this 
part of our task were greater than can be readily estimated by any one who has not tried it. 
Sometimes the complication resisted all attempts at disentanglement. We are far from sup- 
posing that we have done all that might have been done in this way: but it is hoped that the 
labor which has been bestowed has not been altogether wasted, and that the restoration will 
carry with it its own evidence. And as in these attempts we have indicated by letters the order 
in which the trajected parts lie in the manuscripts, the reader in every case has the means 
of forming his own judgment. In the first seventeen Homilies, we have only now and then 
resorted to this method: not because it was less needed there, but because we had not then 
so clearly perceived what was the state of the case, and what was practicable in this way. The 
eighteenth furnishes a remarkable instance, pp. 116-120. Let any one read it in the order 
denoted by the letters, i.e. the six parts marked (a) consecutively, then the seven parts marked 
(b), inserting in the third of the latter (see p. 1 16, note 3), the comment on v. 25, from page 
117, (“And they when they had testified,” etc., to “when the Samaritans believed,”) and he 
will have the entire “recapitulation” or second exposition of the history of the Samaritans 
and Simon Magus as it appears in the mss. — which he will plainly perceive could not have 
proceeded in that form from St. Chrysostom. The same matter, read as we have arranged 
it, will be found to form a continuous exposition, not indeed perfect, for the dislocated state 
into which it had fallen seems to have led to further corruptions on the part of the scribes: 
but at any rate coherent, and with the parts fitting into each other. Moreover, if the fourteen 
parts, as here arranged, be numbered 1. 2. 3. etc., it will be seen that the order in which they 
lie in the mss. is 1. 3. 5: 8. 10. 12: 2. 4. 6: 14: 7. 9. 11. 13., whence it seems that the derangement 
proceeded by some kind of method. The like was often found to be the case in subsequent 
instances. In p. 229, the trajection is 1. 3. 5. 7. 9. 11. 13: 2. 4. 6. 8. 10. 12: i.e., the transcriber 
missed the alternate portions, and brought them all together at the end. In p. 229 (before 
the series just noticed), and 260, it is 3. 2. 1., and in 170, 4. 3. 2. 1., i. e. three, and four, parts 
read in reverse order. In a great number of instances the transposition is only of two parts, 
2. 1: sometimes repeated as in 235, 2. 1., 1: 2. 1: 234, 2. 1: 1: 2. 1: 2. 1: 196, 2. 1: 1: 2. 1: 1: 2. 
1: 1: 2. 1. A form of frequent occurrence is 2. 4., 1. 3., as in 188, 220, 225, 247; and combined 
with others as in 213, 2. 4. 1. 3. 2. 1: in 275, 2. 1: 1: 2. 4. 1. 3. and 183, 2. 1: 1: 2. 4. 1. 3: 2. 1. 
There is the like regularity in the scheme 2. 1. 4. 3., p. 125; and 3. 1. 4. 2. p. 216, 301. In the 
last Homily, which is extremely confused, the trajection seems to yield this very regular 
scheme, 2. 4. 6. 1. 3. 5: 1: 5. 3. 1. 6. 4. 2. In other instances where the trajection is less regular, 
or does not seem to follow a rule, as in 151, 4. 1. 3. 2: 152, 3. 2. 4. 1: 242, 4. 6. 1. 3. 5. 7. 2. 8: 


10 



Preface to Part II. of the Oxford Edition 


250, 2. 1. 4. 8. 5. 3. 6. 9. 7. and in 298, 316, 321 (on which three see the notes), the transcriber 
may have gone wrong on other grounds, and not, as in the generality of instances, from 
mistaking the order in which the reporter had set the matter on his tablets. The trajections 
we have attempted to remedy occur mostly in the expository parts. In the Ethica it often 
appeared to us, that the coherency might be greatly improved by transposition, but the 
evidence of the true order was more precarious here, than where the sequence of the texts 
furnished a clue; in these parts, therefore, we have rarely ventured upon applying this remedy. 

In these ways it is hoped that something has been done towards presenting these 
Homilies in a form nearer to that in which they were delivered, than the form in which they 
are exhibited in the unadulterated manuscripts, much more in the printed editions. The 
task was arduous, and we are far from supposing that our labors have always been successful; 
but at least we have not spared pains and diligence. The Translation was a work only less 
difficult than the reconstruction of the text. Here again much indulgence is needed on the 
score of the difficulty of producing a version, which, while it represented the original with 
its roughnesses and defects, should not be altogether unreadable. We have attempted, 
however, to give faithfully, though not always literally, the sense, or what seemed to be the 
sense, of our materials. 

As a commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, this Work stands alone among the writings 
of the first ten centuries. The Expositions of St. Clement of Alexandria (in the Hypotyposes), 
of Origen, of Diodorus of Tarsus, and St. Chrysostom’s teacher, Theodore of Mopsuestia, 
as well as of Ammonius and others whose materials are used in the Catena, have perished. 
Those who are acquainted with the characteristic qualities of St. Chrysostom’s exegesis, will 
perceive here also the same excellencies which mark his other expository works — especially 
the clear and full exposition of the historical sense, and the exact appreciation of the rhetor- 
ical momenta in the discourses of St. Peter, St. Stephen, St. James and St. Paul, as recorded 
in the Acts. Of the Ethica it is perhaps not too much to affirm, that not the most finished 
work of St. Chrysostom will be found to furnish more of instruction and interesting matter 
(apart from the expression) than will be found in these Homilies, on the religious and 
moral subj ects of which they treat: for example, On the delay of Baptism, On spiritual indol- 
ence and excuses derived from the cessation of Miraculous Grace, On the nature and uses 
of Miracles, On Prayer, On the Study of the Scriptures, On Alms, On Anger and Gentleness, 
Against Oaths and Swearing, and many others. Nor does any work exhibit a livelier portrait- 
ure of the character and life of the great Preacher and Bishop, and of the manners of the 
times in which his lot was cast. 


11 



A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles 


A COMMENTARY 

ON 

THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES, 

BY ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, 

ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE 2 


2 THESE SERMONS WERE PREACHED AT CONSTANTINOPLE, IN THE SECOND OR THIRD YEAR 
OF ST. CHRYSOSTOM’S ARCHIEPISCOPATE: SEE HOM. XLIV. “LO, BY THE GRACE OF GOD, WE ALSO 
HAVE BEEN BY THE SPACE OF THREE YEARS, NOT INDEED NIGHT AND DAY EXHORTING YOU, 
BUT OFTEN EVERY THIRD, OR AT LEAST EVERY SEVENTH, DAY DOING THIS.” IT APPEARS FROM 
HOM. I. THAT THE COURSE BEGAN DURING THE WEEKS OF EASTER: AT WHICH SEASON THE 
BOOK OF ACTS WAS BY LONG ESTABLISHED PRACTICE READ IN OTHER CHURCHES (AS AT ANTI- 
OCH AND IN AFRICA), IF NOT AT CONSTANTINOPLE. SEE ST. CHRYS. HOM. CUR IN PENTECOSTE 
ACTA LEGANTUR, AND ST. AUGUST. TR. IN JOANN. VI. 18. 


12 



Homily I on Acts i. 1, 2. 


Homily I. 

Acts I. 1, 2 

“The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, concerning all things which Jesus began both 
to do and to teach, until the day on which, having given charge to the Apostles, whom He 
had chosen, by the Holy Spirit, He was taken up.” 

To many persons this Book is so little known, both it and its author, that they are not 
even aware that there is such a book in existence. For this reason especially I have taken 
this narrative for my subject, that I may draw to it such as do not know it, and not let such 
a treasure as this remain hidden out of sight. For indeed it may profit us no less than even 
the Gospels; so replete is it with Christian wisdom and sound doctrine, especially in what 
is said concerning the Holy Ghost. Then let us not hastily pass by it, but examine it closely. 
Thus, the predictions which in the Gospels Christ utters, here we may see these actually 
come to pass; and note in the very facts the bright evidence of Truth which shines in them, 
and the mighty change which is taking place in the disciples now that the Spirit has come 
upon them. For example, they heard Christ say, “Whoso believeth on Me, the works that I 
do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do” (John xiv. 12): and again, when 
He foretold to the disciples, that they should be brought before rulers and kings, and in their 
synagogues they should scourge them, and that they should suffer grievous things, and 
overcome all (Matt. x. 18): and that the Gospel should be preached in all the world (lb. xxiv. 
14): now all this, how it came to pass exactly as it was said, may be seen in this Book, and 
more besides, which He told them while yet with them. Here again you will see the Apostles 
themselves, speeding their way as on wings over land and sea; and those same men, once 
so timorous and void of understanding, on the sudden become quite other than they were; 
men despising wealth, and raised above glory and passion and concupiscence, and in short 
all such affections: moreover, what unanimity there is among them now; nowhere any 
envying as there was before, nor any of the old hankering after the preeminence, but all 
virtue brought in them to its last finish, and shining through all, with surpassing lustre, that 


3 St. Chrys. had made the same complaint at Antioch in the Homilies (a.d. 387) in Principium Actorum, etc. 
t. iii. p. 54. “We are about to set before you a strange and new dish. . . .strange, I say, and not strange. Not strange; 
for it belongs to the order of Holy Scripture: and yet strange; because peradventure your ears are not accustomed 
to such a subject. Certainly, there are many to whom this Book is not even known (ttoAAou; youv to (3i(3Aiov 
Touro ou5e yvtopipov am) and many again think it so plain, that they slight it: thus to some men their knowledge, 

to some their ignorance, is the cause of their neglect We are to enquire then who wrote it, and when, and 

on what subject: and why it is ordered (vevopoBcTqrai) to be read at this festival. For peradventure you do not 
hear this Book read [at other times] from year’s end to year’s end.” 


13 


Homily I on Acts i. 1, 2. 


charity, concerning which the Lord had given so many charges saying, “In this shall all men 
know that ye are My disciples, if ye love one another.” (John xiii. 35.) And then, besides, 
there are doctrines to be found here, which we could not have known so surely as we now 
do, if this Book had not existed, but the very crowning point of our salvation would be 
hidden, alike for practice of life and for doctrine. 

The greater part, however, of this work is occupied with the acts of Paul, who “laboured 
more abundantly than they all.” (1 Cor. xv. 10.) And the reason is, that the author of this 
Book, that is, the blessed Luke, was his companion: a man, whose high qualities, sufficiently 
visible in many other instances, are especially shown in his firm adherence to his Teacher, 
whom he constantly followed. 4 Thus at a time when all had forsaken him, one gone into 
Galatia, another into Dalmatia, hear what he says of this disciple: “Only Luke is with me.” 
(2 Tim. iv. 10.) And giving the Corinthians a charge concerning him, he says, “Whose praise 
is in the Gospel throughout all the Churches.” (2 Cor. viii. 18.) Again, when he says, “He 
was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve,” and, “according to the Gospel which ye received” 
(1 Cor. xv. 5, 1), he means the Gospel of this Luke. 5 So that there can be no mistake in at- 
tributing this work to him: and when I say, to him, I mean, to Christ. 6 And why then did 
he not relate every thing, seeing he was with Paul to the end? We may answer, that what is 
here written, was sufficient for those who would attend, and that the sacred writers ever 
addressed themselves to the matter of immediate importance, whatever it might be at the 
time: it was no object with them to be writers of books: in fact, there are many things which 
they have delivered by unwritten tradition. Now while all that is contained in this Book is 


4 The two reasons which Chrysostom urges for the study of the Acts are also the two chief grounds upon 
which modern criticism depends for establishing not only the general trust-worthiness of the book, but also its 
authorship by Luke. They are in substance, (1) The continuity of the history as connected with the gospels and, 
particularly, coincidences of style, matter and diction with the third gospel, and (2) The remarkable undesigned 
coincidences of statement between the Acts and Pauline Epistles which exclude the possibility of inter-dependence. 
From Col. i. 11, 14; Philem. 24; 2 Tim. iv. 11, we learn that Luke was a close companion of Paul. In the part of 
the Book of Acts which treats especially of the work of Paul, the writer frequently refers to himself in the use of 
the first person plural as an associate of the apostle (vid. xvi. 10; xx. 6 sq.; xxi. 1 sq.; xxvii. 1). These considerations 
demonstrate the fitness of Luke to prepare such a treatise as the Acts and render the supposition of his authorship 
plausible. When they are combined with those mentioned under (1) and when the dedication of both books to 
a certain Theophilus is considered, the argument becomes very cogent and complete. — G.B.S. 

5 The reference in the Text of the expression: “the Gospel which ye received,” ( 1 Cor. xv. 1 ) to Luke’s “gospel” 
is, of course, groundless. Paul speaks of it as the gospel which he preached unto them. It is “his gospel” as in 
Rom. ii. 16; xvi. 25; Gal. i. 11, etc. The use of ivayytkxOM to denote a book is post-apostolic. — G.B.S. 

6 Horn, in Priticip. Act. p. 54. “First we must see who wrote the Book.. . .whether a man, or God: and if man, 
let us reject it; for, ‘Call no man master upon earth:’ but if God, let us receive it.” 


14 


Homily I on Acts i. 1, 2. 


worthy of admiration, so is especially the way the Apostles have of coming down to the 
wants of their hearers: a condescension suggested by the Spirit who has so ordered it, that 
the subject on which they chiefly dwell is that which pertains to Christ as man. For so it is, 
that while they discourse so much about Christ, they have spoken but little concerning His 
Godhead; it was mostly of the Manhood that they discoursed, and of the Passion, and the 
Resurrection, and the Ascension. For the thing required in the first instance was this, that 
it should be believed that He was risen, and ascended into heaven. As then the point on 
which Christ himself most insisted was, to have it known that He was come from the Father, 
so is it this writer’s principal object to declare, that Christ was risen from the dead, and was 
received up into Heaven, and that He went to God, and came from God. For, if the fact of 
His coming from God were not first believed, much more, with the Resurrection and Ascen- 
sion added thereto, would the Jews have found the entire doctrine incredible. Wherefore 
gently and by degrees he leads them on to higher truths. Nay, at Athens Paul even calls Him 
man simply, without saying more (Acts xvii. 31). For if, when Christ Himself spoke of His 
equality with the Father, they often attempted to stone Him, and called Him a blasphemer 
for this reason, it was little to be expected that they would receive this doctrine from the 
fishermen, and that too, with the Cross coming before it. 

But why speak of the Jews, seeing that even the disciples often upon hearing the more 
sublime doctrines were troubled and offended? Therefore also He told them, “I have many 
things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” (John xvi. 12.) If those could not, 
who had been so long time with Him, and had been admitted to so many secrets, and had 
seen so many wonders, how was it to be expected that men, but newly dragged away from 
altars, and idols, and sacrifices, and cats, and crocodiles (for such did the Gentiles worship), 
and from the rest of their evil ways, should all at once receive the more sublime matters of 
doctrine? And how in particular should Jews, hearing as they did every day of their lives, 
and having it ever sounded in their ears, “The Lord thy God is one Lord, and beside Him 
is none other” (Deut. vi. 4): who also had seen Him hanging nailed on the Cross, nay, had 
themselves crucified and buried Him, and not seen Him even risen: when they were told 
that this same person was God and equal with the Father, how should they, of all men, be 
otherwise than shocked and revolted? Therefore it is that gently and little by little they carry 
them on, with much consideration and forbearance letting themselves down to their low 
attainments, themselves the while enjoying in more plentiful measure the grace of the 
Spirit, and doing greater works in Christ’s name than Christ Himself did, that they may at 
once raise them up from their grovelling apprehensions, and confirm the saying, that Christ 
was raised from the dead. For this, in fact, is just what this Book is: a Demonstration of the 


15 


Homily I on Acts i. 1, 2. 


7 O 

Resurrection: this being once believed, the rest would come in due course. The subject 

then and entire scope of this Book, in the main, is just what I have said. And now let us hear 
the Preface itself. 

“The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and 
to teach.” (v. 1) Why does he put him in mind of the Gospel? To intimate how strictly he 
may be depended upon. For at the outset of the former work he says, “It seemed good to 
me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto 
thee in order.” (Luke i. 3.) Neither is he content with his own testimony, but refers the whole 
matter to the Apostles, saying, “Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the begin- 
ning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word.” (Luke i. 2.) Having then accredited his 
account in the former instance, he has no need to put forth his credentials afresh for this 
treatise, seeing his disciple has been once for all satisfied, and by the mention of that former 
work he has reminded him of the strict reliance to be placed in him for the truth. For if a 
person has shown himself competent and trustworthy to write of things which he has heard, 
and moreover has obtained our confidence, much more will he have a right to our confidence 
when he has composed an account, not of things which he has received from others, but of 
things which he has seen and heard. For thou didst receive what relates to Christ; much 
more wilt thou receive what concerns the Apostles. 

What then, (it may be asked), is it a question only of history, with which the Holy 
Spirit has nothing to do? Not so. For, if “those delivered it unto us, who from the beginning 
were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word;” then, what he says, is theirs. And why did he 
not say, ‘As they who were counted worthy of the Holy Spirit delivered them unto us;’ but 
“Those who were eyewitnesses?” Because, in matter of belief, the very thing that gives one 
a right to be believed, is the having learned from eyewitnesses: whereas the other appears 
to foolish persons mere parade and pretension. And therefore John also speaks thus: “I saw, 
and bare record that this is the Son of God.” (John. i. 34.) And Christ expresses Himself in 
the same way to Nicodemus, while he was dull of apprehension, “We speak that we do know, 
and testify that we have seen; and no one receiveth our witness.” (Ib. iii. 11.) Accordingly, 
He gave them leave to rest their testimony in many particulars on the fact of their having 


7 Horn, cur in Pentec. Acta legantur, t. iii. p. 89. E. “The demonstration of the Resurrection is, the Apostolic 
miracles: and of the Apostolic miracles this Book is the school.” 

8 The statement that the Acts is a “Demonstration of the Resurrection” has a certain profound truth, but is 
incorrect if intending to assert that such was the conscious purpose of the author. The resurrection of Jesus is 
a prominent theme in the Apostolic discourses but the book is no more designed primarily to prove the resur- 
rection than are the Epistles to the Romans and Corinthians. The immediate purpose of the book is to record 
the labors and triumphs of the Apostolic Church as supplementary to the narrative of the teaching and work of 
Jesus (i. 1 , 2). The events narrated presuppose the resurrection and would have been impossible without it. — G.B.S. 

16 


Homily I on Acts i. 1, 2. 


seen them, when He said, “And do ye bear witness concerning Me, because ye have been 
with Me from the beginning.” (John xv. 27.) The Apostles themselves also often speak in a 
similar manner; “We are witnesses, and the Holy Spirit which God hath given to those that 
obey Him.” (Acts ii. 32); and on a subsequent occasion, Peter, still giving assurance of the 
Resurrection, said, “Seeing we did eat and drink with Him.” (Acts x. 41.) For they more 
readily received the testimony of persons who had been His companions, because the notion 
of the Spirit was as yet very much beyond them. Therefore John also at that time, in his 
Gospel, speaking of the blood and water, said, he himself saw it, making the fact of his having 
seen it equivalent, for them, to the highest testimony, although the witness of the Spirit is 
more certain than the evidence of sight, but not so with unbelievers. Now that Luke was a 
partaker of the Spirit, is abundantly clear, both from the miracles which even now take place; 
and from the fact that in those times even ordinary persons were gifted with the Holy Ghost; 
and again from the testimony of Paul, in these words, “Whose praise is in the Gospel” (2 
Cor. viii. 18); and from the appointment to which he was chosen: for having said this, the 
Apostle adds, “But also appointed of the Churches to travel with us with this grace which 
is administered by us.” 9 

Now mark how unassuming he is. He does not say, The former Gospel which I preached, 
but, “The former treatise have I made;” accounting the title of Gospel to be too great for 
him; although it is on the score of this that the Apostle dignifies him: “Whose praise,” he 
says, “is in the Gospel.” But he himself modestly says, “The former treatise have I made — O 
Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and to teach:” not simply “of all,” but from 
the beginning to the end; “until the day,” he says, “in which He was taken up.” And yet John 
says, that it was not possible to write all: for “were they written, I suppose,” says he, “that 
even the world itself could not contain the books written.” (John xxi. 25.) How then does 
the Evangelist here say, “Of all?” He does not say “all,” but “of all,” as much as to say, “in a 
summary way, and in the gross;” and “of all that is mainly and pressingly important.” Then 
he tells us in what sense he says all, when he adds, “Which Jesus began both to do and to 
teach;” meaning His miracles and teaching; and not only so, but implying that His doing 
was also a teaching. 

But now consider the benevolent and Apostolic feelings of the writer: that for the sake 
of a single individual he took such pains as to write for him an entire Gospel. “That thou 
mightest have,” he says, “the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.” 
(Luke i. 4.) In truth, he had heard Christ say, “It is not the will of My Father that one of these 
little ones should perish.” (Matt, xviii. 14.) And why did he not make one book of it, to send 


9 Chrys. states too confidently that “the brother” whose praise is referred to in 2 Cor. viii. 18, is Luke. It cannot 
be determined who this “brother” was. See Meyer in loco. Other conjectures are: Barnabas, Mark, Erastus, and 
an actual brother of Titus. — G.B.S. 


17 


Homily I on Acts i. 1, 2. 


to one man Theophilus, but has divided it into two subjects? For clearness, and to give the 
brother a pause for rest. Besides, the two treatises are distinct in their subject-matter. 

But consider how Christ accredited his words by His deeds. Thus He saith, “Learn of 
Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.” (Ib. xi. 29.) He taught men to be poor, 10 11 and ex- 
hibited this by His actions: “For the Son of Man,” He says, “hath not where to lay His head.” 
(Ib. viii. 20.) Again, He charged men to love their enemies; and He taught the same lesson 
on the Cross, when He prayed for those who were crucifying Him. He said, “If any man will 
sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also” (Ib. v. 40): now He 
not only gave His garments, but even His blood. In this way He bade others teach. Wherefore 
Paul also said, “So as ye have us for an example.” (Philip, iii. 17.) For nothing is more frigid 
than a teacher who shows his philosophy only in words: this is to act the part not of a 
teacher, but of a hypocrite. Therefore the Apostles first taught by their conduct, and then 
by their words; nay rather they had no need of words, when their deeds spoke so loud. Nor 
is it wrong to speak of Christ’s Passion as action, for in suffering all He performed that great 
and wonderful act, by which He destroyed death, and effected all else that He did for us. 

“Until the day in which He was taken up, after that He, through the Holy Spirit, had 
given commandments unto the Apostles whom He had chosen. After He had given com- 
mandments through the Spirit” (v. 2); i.e. they were spiritual words that He spake unto 
them, nothing human; either this is the meaning, or, that it was by the Spirit that He gave 
them commandments. Do you observe in what low terms he still speaks of Christ, as in 
fact Christ had spoken of Himself? “But if I by the Spirit of God cast out devils” (Matt. xii. 
28); for indeed the Holy Ghost wrought in that Temple. Well, what did He command? “Go 
ye therefore,” He says, “make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the Name of 
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things 
whatsoever I have commanded you.” (Ib. xxviii. 19, 20.) A high encomium this for the 
Apostles; to have such a charge entrusted to them, I mean, the salvation of the world! words 
full of the Spirit! And this the writer hints at in the expression, “through the Holy Ghost” 


10 Ms. C. has oiKtlppovat;, merciful; the rest, dKTfjpovaq, without possessions, which is certainly the true 
reading. Thus in the Sermon defuturce Vitce deliciis, where Chrys. discourses largely on the harmony of Christ’s 
teaching and actions, he says, ndA.iv dKTqpoauvqv raxiSeuwv, opa itujc; 5ia twv epywv aurqv eTuSetKvurai, 
Aeywv, Ai aAdwieKeq, k. t. A. 

1 1 “He taught them to be poor.” Here we have a tinge of asceticism. Even if we suppose that the beatitude of 
the poor refers to literal poverty (Luke vi. 20) as well as to poverty in spirit (Matt. v. 3), it is still incorrect to say 
that Jesus taught his disciples that poverty was in itself a virtue. The ascetic principle is of heathen, not of 
Christian origin. It is noticeable that Chrys. quotes no passage to sustain his statement. — G.B.S. 

12 The latter is doubtless the correct interpretation. (So Meyer, Hackett). Cf. Matt. xii. 28; John iii. 34; Luke 
iv. 1. — G.B.S. 


18 


Homily I on Acts i. 1, 2. 


(and, “the words which I spake unto you,” saith the Lord, “are Spirit”) (John vi. 63); thus 
leading the hearer on to a desire of learning what the commands were, and establishing the 
authority of the Apostles, seeing it is the words of the Spirit they are about to speak, and the 
commandments of Christ. “After He had given commandments,” he says, “He was taken 
up.” He does not say, ‘ascended;’ he still speaks as concerning a man. It appears then that 
He also taught the Disciples after His resurrection, but of this space of time no one has related 
to us the whole in detail. St. John indeed, as also does the present writer, dwells at greater 
length on this subject than the others; but none has clearly related every thing (for they 
hastened to something else); however, we have learnt these things through the Apostles, for 
what they heard, that did they tell. “To whom also He shewed Himself alive.” Having first 
spoken of the Ascension, he adverts to the Resurrection; for since thou hast been told that 
“He was taken up,” therefore, lest thou shouldest suppose Him to have been taken up by 

i o 

others , he adds, “To whom He shewed Himself alive.” For if He shewed Himself in the 
greater, surely He did in the minor circumstance. Seest thou, how casually and unperceived 
he drops by the way the seeds of these great doctrines? 14 

“Being seen of them during forty days.” He was not always with them now, as He was 
before the Resurrection. For the writer does not say “forty days,” but, “during forty days.” 
He came, and again disappeared; by this leading them on to higher conceptions, and no 
longer permitting them to stand affected towards Him in the same way as before, but taking 
effectual measures to secure both these objects, that the fact of His Resurrection should be 
believed, and that He Himself should be ever after apprehended to be greater than man. At 
the same time, these were two opposite things; for in order to the belief in His Resurrection, 
much was to be done of a human character, and for the other object, just the reverse. Nev- 
ertheless, both results have been effected, each when the fitting time arrived. 

But why did He appear not to all, but to the Apostles only? 15 Because to the many it 
would have seemed a mere apparition, inasmuch as they understood not the secret of the 
mystery. For if the disciples themselves were at first incredulous and were troubled, and 
needed the evidence of actual touch with the hand, and of His eating with them, how would 
it have fared in all likelihood with the multitude? For this reason therefore by the miracles 


13 i.e. as CEcumenius explains in l. iva prj tu; voplar| erepou ouvapeirouto yeveaSai, lest any should suppose 
this to have been done by the power of another, he adds, to show that it was His own act, To whom also, etc. 

14 It is more than doubtful whether the mention of the resurrection is introduced (i. 3 sq.) for the purpose 
of meeting sceptical objections. The writer will rather make it the point of departure for his subsequent narrative. 
He has mentioned the ascension; the resurrection is the other great event and he will introduce a resume of the 
more important circumstances which happened during the period between these two events and which have 
an important bearing upon the history about to be related. — G.B.S. 

15 Chrys. seems to overlook the appearance “to above five hundred brethren at once,” 1 Cor. xv. 6. — G.B.S. 

19 


Homily I on Acts i. 1, 2. 


[wrought by the Apostles] He renders the evidence of His Resurrection unequivocal, so that 
not only the men of those times — this is what would come of the ocular proof — but also all 
men thereafter, should be certain of the fact, that He was risen. Upon this ground also we 
argue with unbelievers. For if He did not rise again, but remains dead, how did the Apostles 
perform miracles in His name? But they did not, say you, perform miracles? How then was 
our religion (sGvoc;) instituted? For this certainly they will not controvert nor impugn what 
we see with our eyes: so that when they say that no miracles took place, they inflict a worse 
stab 16 upon themselves. For this would be the greatest of miracles, that without any miracles, 
the whole world should have eagerly come to be taken in the nets of twelve poor and illiterate 
men. For not by wealth of money, not by wisdom of words, not by any thing else of this 
kind, did the fishermen prevail; so that objectors must even against their will acknowledge 
that there was in these men a Divine power, for no human strength could ever possibly effect 
such great results. For this He then remained forty days on earth, furnishing in this length 
of time the sure evidence of their seeing Him in His own proper Person, that they might 
not suppose that what they saw was a phantom. And not content with this, He added also 
the evidence of eating with them at their board: as to signify this, the writer adds, “And being 
at table with them, He commanded.” (v. 4.) And this circumstance the Apostles them- 
selves always put forth as an fallible token of the Resurrection; as where they say, “Who did 
eat and drink with Him.” (Acts x. 41.) 

And what did He, when appearing unto them those forty days? Why, He conversed 
with them, says the writer, “concerning the kingdom of God.” (v. 3.) For, since the disciples 
both had been distressed and troubled at the things which already had taken place, and were 
about to go forth to encounter great difficulties, He recovered them by His discourses con- 
cerning the future. “He commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but 
wait for the promise of the Father.” (v. 4.) First, He led them out to Galilee, afraid and 


16 nepuieipouai, ms. C. and Cat. (see 1 Tim. vi. 9, pierced themselves through with many sorrows), and in 
this sense Horn, in Matt. 455 B. 463 A. The word is used as here, ibid. 831 C. where several mss. have navraxou 
r| TtMvri eaurriv Tteputeipet, for eaurfj TtspiTUTtTei. 

17 ZuvaARopevoc;. In the margin of E.V. “Eating together with them.” The Catena here and below, had pr. 
man. the other reading, ouvauARopcvoi;, but corrected in both places. St. Chrys. so takes the word, Horn, in 
Princip. Act. §11.767 E. in Joann. 522 D. CEcumen. in 1. explains it, roureari koivwvwv aAwv, koivwvwv 
rpaTi£^r|<;, “Partaking of the salt, partaking of the table.” 

18 Chrys. here follows the interpretation which derives auvaARopevoc; (i. 4) from auv and ixXc; (salt) hence, 
eating together. So several ancient authorities as Vulgate ( convesceus ) and even modern, as Meyer. But the 
preferable derivation is from auv and dcArjc; (crowded), hence to be assembled, to meet with (sc. autoR). So 
Olshausen, Hackett, Lechler, Thayer’s Lex. and most modern authorities. — G.B.S. 


20 


Homily I on Acts i. 1, 2. 


trembling, in order that they might listen to His words in security. Afterwards, when they 
had heard, and had passed forty days with Him, “He commanded them that they should 
not depart from Jerusalem.” Wherefore? Just as when soldiers are to charge a multitude, no 
one thinks of letting them issue forth until they have armed themselves, or as horses are not 
suffered to start from the barriers until they have got their charioteer; so Christ did not 
suffer these to appear in the field before the descent of the Spirit, that they might not be in 
a condition to be easily defeated and taken captive by the many. Nor was this the only 
reason, but also there were many in Jerusalem who should believe. And then again that it 
might not be said, that leaving their own acquaintance, they had gone to make a parade 
among strangers, therefore among those very men who had put Christ to death do they ex- 
hibit the proofs of His Resurrection, among those who had crucified and buried Him, in 
the very town in which the iniquitous deed had been perpetrated; thereby stopping the 
mouths of all foreign objectors. For when those even who had crucified Him appear as be- 
lievers, clearly this proved both the fact of the crucifixion and the iniquity of the deed, and 
afforded a mighty evidence of the Resurrection. Furthermore, lest the Apostles should say, 
How shall it be possible for us to live among wicked and bloody men, they so many in 
number, we so few and contemptible, observe how He does away their fear and distress, by 
these words, “But wait for the promise of the Father, which ye have heard of Me.” (v. 4.) 
You will say, When had they heard this? When He said, “It is expedient for you that I go 
away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you.” (John xvi. 7.) And again, 
“I will pray the Father, and He shall send you another Comforter, that He may abide with 
you.” (ib. xiv. 16.) 

But why did the Holy Ghost come to them, not while Christ was present, nor even im- 
mediately after his departure, but, whereas Christ ascended on the fortieth day, the Spirit 
descended “when the day of Pentecost,” that is, the fiftieth, “was fully come?” (Acts ii. 1.) 
And how was it, if the Spirit had not yet come, that He said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost?” 
(John xx. 22.) In order to render them capable and meet for the reception of Him. For if 
Daniel fainted at the sight of an Angel (Dan. viii. 17), much more would these when about 
to receive so great a grace. Either this then is to be said, or else that Christ spoke of what 
was to come, as if come already; as when He said, “Tread ye upon serpents and scorpions, 
and over all the power of the devil.” (Luke x. 19.) But why had the Holy Ghost not yet come? 
It was fit that they should first be brought to have a longing desire for that event, and so 
receive the grace. For this reason Christ Himself departed, and then the Spirit descended. 
For had He Himself been there, they would not have expected the Spirit so earnestly as they 
did. On this account neither did He come immediately after Christ’s Ascension, but after 
eight or nine days. It is the same with us also; for our desires towards God are then most 
raised, when we stand in need. Accordingly, John chose that time to send his disciples to 
Christ when they were likely to feel their need of Jesus, during his own imprisonment. Be- 


21 


Homily I on Acts i. 1, 2. 


sides, it was fit that our nature should be seen in heaven, and that the reconciliation should 
be perfected, and then the Spirit should come, and the joy should be unalloyed. For, if the 
Spirit being already come, Christ had then departed, and the Spirit remained; the consolation 
would not have been so great as it was. For in fact they clung to Him, and could not bear to 
part with Him; wherefore also to comfort them He said, “It is expedient for you that I go 
away.” (John xvi. 7.) On this account He also waits during those intermediate days, that 
they might first despond for awhile, and be made, as I said, to feel their need of Him. and 
then reap a full and unalloyed delight. But if the Spirit were inferior to the Son, the consol- 
ation would not have been adequate; and how could He have said, “It is expedient for you?” 
For this reason the greater matters of teaching were reserved for the Spirit, that the disciples 
might not imagine Him inferior. 

Consider also how necessary He made it for them to abide in Jerusalem, by promising 
that the Spirit should be granted them. For lest they should again flee away after His Ascen- 
sion, by this expectation, as by a bond, He keeps them to that spot. But having said, “Wait 
for the promise of the Father, which ye have heard of Me,” He then adds, “For John truly 
baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” 
(v. 4, 5.) For now indeed He gives them to see the difference there was betwixt Him and 
John, plainly, and not as heretofore in obscure hints; for in fact He had spoken very obscurely, 
when He said, “Notwithstanding, he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than 
he:” but now He says plainly, “John baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the 
Holy Ghost.” (Matt. xi. 11.) And he no longer uses the testimony, but merely adverts to the 
person of John, reminding the disciples of what he had said, and shows them that they are 
now become greater than John; seeing they too are to baptize with the Spirit. Again, He did 
not say, I baptize you with the Holy Ghost, but, “Ye shall be baptized:” teaching us humility. 
For this was plain enough from the testimonyof John, that it was Christ Himself Who should 
baptize: “He it is that shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire” (Luke iii. 16.); 
wherefore also He made mention of John. 19 

The Gospels, then, are a history of what Christ did and said; but the Acts, of what that 
“other Comforter” said and did. Not but that the Spirit did many things in the Gospels also; 
even as Christ here in the Acts still works in men as He did in the Gospels: only then the 
Spirit wrought through the Temple, now through the Apostles: then, He came into the 
Virgin’s womb, and fashioned the Temple; now, into Apostolic souls: then in the likeness 
of a dove; now, in the likeness of fire. And wherefore? Showing there the gentleness of the 
Lord, but here His taking vengeance also, He now puts them in mind of the judgment like- 
wise. For, when need was to forgive, need was there of much gentleness; but now we have 
obtained the gift, it is henceforth a time for judgment and examination. 


19 So mss. C. F. D. and the Catena. The others have [tovou autou, “of him (John) alone,” not of his testimony. 

22 


Homily I on Acts i. 1, 2. 


But why does Christ say, “Ye shall be baptized,” when in fact there was no water in the 
upper room? Because the more essential part of Baptism is the Spirit, through Whom indeed 
the water has its operation; in the same manner our Lord also is said to be anointed, not 
that He had ever been anointed with oil, but because He had received the Spirit. Besides, 
we do in fact find them receiving a baptism with water [and a baptism with the Spirit], and 
these at different moments. In our case both take place under one act, but then they were 
divided. For in the beginning they were baptized by John; since, if harlots and publicans 
went to that baptism, much rather would they who thereafter were to be baptized by the 
Holy Ghost. Then, that the Apostles might not say, that they were always having it held out 
to them in promises (John xiv. 15, 16), (for indeed Christ had already discoursed much to 
them concerning the Spirit, that they should not imagine It to be an impersonal Energy or 
Operation, (svspysiav avunoararov) that they might not say this, then, He adds, “not many 
days hence.” And He did not explain when, that they might always watch: but, that it would 
soon take place, He told them, that they might not faint; yet the exact time He refrained 
from adding, that they might always be vigilant. Nor does He assure them by this alone; I 
mean, by the shortness of the time, but withal by saying, “The promise which ye have heard 
of Me.” For this is not, saith He, the only time I have told you, but already I have promised 
what I shall certainly perform. What wonder then that He does not signify the day of the 
final consummation, when this day which was so near He did not choose to reveal? And 
with good reason; to the end they may be ever wakeful, and in a state of expectation and 
earnest heed. 

For it cannot, it cannot be, that a man should enjoy the benefit of grace except he watch. 
Seest thou not what Elias saith to his disciple? “If thou see me when I am taken up” (2 Kings 
ii. 10), this that thou askest shall be done for thee. Christ also was ever wont to say unto 
those that came unto Him, “Believest thou?” For if we be not appropriated and made over 
to the thing given, neither do we greatly feel the benefit. So it was also in the case of Paul; 
grace did not come to him immediately, but three days intervened, during which he was 
blind; purified the while, and prepared by fear. For as those who dye the purple first season 
with other ingredients the cloth that is to receive the dye, that the bloom may not be fleet- 
ing; so in this instance God first takes order that the soul shall be thoroughly in earnest, 
and then pours forth His grace. On this account also, neither did He immediately send the 
Spirit, but on the fiftieth day. Now if any one ask, why we also do not baptize at that season 


20 ’Eav yap pi) oiK£iw0wp£v npoc; to 5i5op£vov. Erasm. Nisi rei datce addicti fuerimus. 

21 Oi n)v dAoupyida (3d7rrovr£(;....vva pi) £^irr|Aov y£vr|rai ro av0o<;. Comp. Plat. Republ. iv. vol. i. p. 289. 
Stallb. Oukouv oia0a, f|v 5’ Eyw, on oi PacpEiq, £it£i5dv (3ouAr|0d>ai (Saipai Epia war’ Eivai aAoupya, itpwrov p£v 
EKAcyovrai ek toooutwv xpwparwv piav cpuaiv rriv rwv Aeukwv, Ensira TtpoitapaaKEud^ouai ouk 6Afyr| itapa 
ok£u& 219- 0£pan£uoavT£c onwc Se^etoi on paAiara to av0oc, Kai outw 5r| pdirrouai. 


23 


Homily I on Acts i. 1, 2. 


99 

of Pentecost? we may answer, that grace is the same now as then; but the mind becomes 
more elevated now, by being prepared through fasting. And the season too of Pentecost 
furnishes a not unlikely reason. What may that be? Our fathers held Baptism to be just the 
proper curb upon evil concupiscence, and a powerful lesson for teaching to be sober-minded 
even in a time of delights. 

As if then we were banquetting with Christ Himself, and partaking of His table, let us 
do nothing at random, but let us pass our time in fastings, and prayers, and much sobriety 
of mind. For if a man who is destined to enter upon some temporal government, prepares 
himself all his life long, and that he may obtain some dignity, lays out his money, spends 
his time, and submits to endless troubles; what shall we deserve, who draw near to the 
kingdom of heaven with such negligence, and both show no earnestness before we have re- 
ceived, and after having received are again negligent? Nay, this is the very reason why we 
are negligent after having received, that we did not watch before we had received. Therefore 
many, after they have received, immediately have returned to their former vomit, and have 
become more wicked, and drawn upon themselves a more severe punishment; when having 
been delivered from their former sins, herein they have more grievously provoked the Judge, 
that having been delivered from so great a disease, still they did not learn sobriety, but that 
has happened unto them, which Christ threatened to the paralytic man, saying, “Behold 
thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (John v. 14): and 
which He also predicted of the Jews, that “the last state shall be worse than the first.” (Matt, 
xii. 45.) For if, saith He, showing that by their ingratitude they should bring upon them the 
worst of evils, “if I had not come, and spoken unto them, they had not had sin” (John xv. 
22); so that the guilt of sins committed after these benefits is doubled and quadrupled, in 
that, after the honour put upon us, we show ourselves ungrateful and wicked. And the Laver 
of Baptism helps not a whit to procure for us a milder punishment. And consider: a man 
has gotten grievous sins by committing murder or adultery, or some other crime: these were 
remitted through Baptism. For there is no sin, no impiety, which does not yield and give 
place to this gift; for the Grace is Divine. A man has again committed adultery and murder; 
the former adultery is indeed done away, the murder forgiven, and not brought up again to 
his charge, “for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Rom. xi. 29); but for 


22 The question, fully expressed, is, ‘Why do we baptize, not at Pentecost, but on Easter Eve?’ And the answer 
is, ‘Because the lenten fast forms a meet preparation for the reception of baptism. And moreover, there is a 
reason which weighed with our fathers, in respect of this season of the fifty days, the time of the Church’s great 
festivity. The baptism newly received would restrain the neophytes from giving loose to carnal lusts; having 
prepared them to keep the feast with a holy and awful gladness.’ It should be borne in mind, that these Homilies 
were commenced during the IlcvrqKoarfi, i.e. the period of fifty days between Easter and Pentecost; at which 
season the Book of Acts was usually read in the Churches. 


24 


Homily I on Acts i. 1, 2. 


those committed after Baptism he suffers a punishment as great as he would if both the 
former sins were brought up again, and many worse than these. For the guilt is no longer 
simply equal, but doubled and tripled. Look: in proof that the penalty of these sins is 
greater, hear what St. Paul says: “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy, under 
two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought 
worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the 
covenant an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” (Heb. x. 28, 29.) 

Perhaps we have now deterred many from receiving baptism. Not however with this 
intention have we so spoken, but on purpose that having received it, they may continue in 
temperance and much moderation. ‘But I am afraid,’ says one. If thou wert afraid, thou 
wouldest have received and guarded it. ‘Nay,’ saith he, ‘but this is the very reason why I do 
not receive it, — that I am frightened.’ And art thou not afraid to depart thus? ‘God is merciful,’ 
saith he. Receive baptism then, because He is merciful and ready to help. But thou, where 
to be in earnest is the thing required, dost not allege this mercifulness; thou thinkest of this 
only where thou hast a mind to do so. And yet that was the time to resort to God’s mercy, 
and we shall then be surest of obtaining it, when we do our part. For he that has cast the 
whole matter upon God, and, after his baptism, sins, as being man it is likely, he may, and 
repents, shall obtain mercy; whereas he that prevaricates with God’s mercy, and departs this 
life with no portion in that grace, shall have his punishment without a word to be said for 
him. ‘But how if he depart,’ say you, ‘after having had the grace vouchsafed to him?’ He will 
depart empty again of all good works. 24 For it is impossible, yes, it is in my opinion im- 
possible, that the man who upon such hopes dallied with baptism should have effected ought 


23 This view, that baptism cleansed from all sin, and that, therefore, sin after baptism was far more heinous 
and hard to be forgiven, held wide sway in the early church and operated as a powerful motive for the delay of 
baptism. The reception of the grace of baptism involves this increased liability to deadlier sin. For this reason 
Tertullian had urged its postponement. “And so according to the circumstances and disposition, and even age, 
of each individual, the delay of baptism is preferable; principally, however, in the case of little children.” “If any 
understand the weighty import of baptism, they will fear its reception more than its delay,” etc. De Baptismo, 
xviii. Chrys. did not carry the idea to this length. — G.B.S. 

24 Tl ouv av Kara^ito0el<; <pr|atv dmeXeuaerat TtdA.iv kevoc; KaropBwpdrwv, Cod. C, and so A, but with 
aiteAeuari In the latter recension this sentence is omitted, and instead of it, we have, Tl 5 e tauta Kara ttR aeaurou 
awrriplac itpo(3aAAr|; ‘But why dost thou put forth such pretences against thine own salvation?’ Chrys. had just 
said, diteABcdv apoipop rfj<; xapiroc aTtaipalrrirov e^et rrjv riptoplov. The objector (with the usual prevaricating 
formula, tl ouv e& 129'v to Kat to; Horn, in Matt. 229 D.) says: tl ouv av KaTa^itoBeft, sc. rfjq xaptrot; aiteABr); 
to which Chrys. answers: ’AiteAeuaetai itaAiv kevoc; KatopBwpdTtov: He will depart as empty of good works as 
he was before his baptism: adding, For it is, I think, utterly impossible that such an one [though he should live 
ever so long after baptism] would have wrought out his own salvation. 


25 


Homily I on Acts i. 1, 2. 


generous and good. And why dost thou harbor such fear, and presume upon the uncertain 
chance of the future? Why not convert this fear into labor and earnestness, and thou shalt 
be great and admirable? Which is best, to fear or to labor? Suppose some one to have placed 
thee, having nothing to do, in a tottering house, saying, Look for the decaying roof to fall 
upon thy head: for perhaps it will fall, perhaps not; but if thou hadst rather it should not, 
then work and inhabit the more secure apartment: which wouldest thou have rather chosen, 
that idle condition accompanied with fear, or this labor with confidence? Why then, act 
now in the same way. For the uncertain future is like a decayed house, ever threatening to 
fall; but this work, laborious though it be, ensures safety. 

Now God forbid that it should happen to us to fall into so great straits as to sin after 
baptism. However, even if aught such should happen, God is merciful, and has given us 
many ways of obtaining remission even after this. But just as those who sin after baptism 
are punished for this reason more severely than the Catechumens, so again, those who know 
that there are medicines in repentance, and yet will not make use of them, will undergo a 
more grievous chastisement. For by how much the mercy of God is enlarged, by so much 
does the punishment increase, if we do not duly profit by that mercy. What sayest thou, O 
man? When thou wast full of such grievous evils, and given over, suddenly thou becamest 
a friend, and wast exalted to the highest honor, not by labors of thine own, but by the gift 
of God: thou didst again return to thy former misconduct; and though thou didst deserve 
to be sorely punished, nevertheless, God did not turn away, but gave unnumbered oppor- 
tunities of salvation, whereby thou mayest yet become a friend: yet for all this, thou hast not 
the will to labor. What forgiveness canst thou deserve henceforth? Will not the Gentiles 
with good reason deride thee as a worthless drone? For if there be power in that doctrine 
of yours, say they, what means this multitude of uninitiated persons? If the mysteries be 
excellent and desirable, let none receive baptism at his last gasp. For that is not the time for 
giving of mysteries but for making of wills; the time for mysteries is in health of mind and 
soundness of soul. For, if a man would not prefer to make his will in such a condition; and 
if he does so make it, he gives a handle for subsequent litigation (and this is the reason why 
testators premise these words: “Alive, in my senses, and in health, I make this disposal of 
my property:”), how should it be possible for a person who is no longer master of his senses 
to go through the right course of preparation for the sacred mysteries? For if in the affairs 
of this life, the laws of the world would not permit a man who was not perfectly sound in 
mind to make a will, although it be in his own affairs that he would lay down the law; how, 
when thou art receiving instruction concerning the kingdom of heaven, and the unspeakable 
riches of that world, shall it be possible for thee to learn all clearly, when very likely too thou 


25 Meta atcptfietou; puaTaywYefoSou: alluding to the KarrjxnoK puaraywY 110 ), i.e. th e course of instruction 
by which the catechumens were prepared for baptism. See the Catechetical Discourses of St. Cyril of Jerusalem. 

26 



Homily I on Acts i. 1, 2. 


art beside thyself through the violence of thy malady? And when wilt thou say those words 
to Christ, in the act of being buried with Him when at the point to depart hence? For indeed 
both by works and by words must we show our good will towards Him. (Rom. vi. 4.) Now 
what thou art doing is all one, as if a man should want to be enlisted as a soldier, when the 
war is just about to break up; or to strip for the contest in the arena, just when the spectators 
have risen from their seats. For thou hast thine arms given thee, not that thou shouldest 
straightway depart hence, but that being equipped therewith, thou mayest raise a trophy 
over the enemy. Let no one think that it is out of season to discourse on this subject, because 
it is not Lent now. Nay, this it is that vexes me, that ye look to a set time in such matters. 
Whereas that Eunuch, barbarian as he was and on a journey, yea on the very highway, he 
did not seek for a set time (Acts viii. 27); no, nor the jailer, though he was in the midst of a 
set of prisoners, and the teacher he saw before him was a man scourged and in chains, and 
whom he was still to have in his custody, (ib. xvi. 29.) But here, not being inmates of a jail, 
nor out on a journey, many are putting off their baptism even to their last breath. 

Now if thou still questionest that Christ is God, stand away from the Church: be not 
here, even as a hearer of the Divine Word, and as one of the catechumens: but if thou art 

sure of this, and knowest clearly this truth, why delay? Why shrink back and hesitate? For 
fear, say you, lest I should sin. But dost thou not fear what is worse, to depart for the next 
world with such a heavy burden? For it is not equally excusable, not to have gotten a grace 
set before you, and to have failed in attempting to live uprightly. If thou be called to account, 
Why didst thou not come for it? what wilt thou answer? In the other case thou mayest allege 
the burden of thy passions, and the difficulty of a virtuous life: but nothing of the kind here. 
For here is grace, freely conveying liberty. But thou fearest lest thou shouldest sin? Let this 
be thy language after Baptism: and then entertain this fear, in order to hold fast the liberty 
thou hast received; not now, to prevent thy receiving such a gift. Whereas now thou art wary 
before baptism, and negligent after it. But thou art waiting for Lent: and why? Has that 
season any advantage? Nay, it was not at the Passover that the Apostles received the grace, 
but at another season; and then three thousand (Luke says,) and five thousand were baptized: 


26 Ta p& 208’para EKelva: i.e. not (as Ben. seems to interpret) “Buried with Christ;” as if this were part of the 
form of words put into the mouth of the person to be baptized; but the words, “I renounce thee, O Satan, and 
all thy angels, and all thy service, and all thy pomp: and I enlist myself with Thee, O Christ.” St. Chrysost. Serm. 
ad pop. Antioch, xxi. p. 244. The words, “buried with Him,” serve to show more clearly the absurdity of such 
delay: “we are ‘buried with Christ in His death,’ that we may rise again to newness of life, not that we should 
pass at once from the spiritual burial to the literal.” 

27 The catechumens were allowed to be present at the first part of the service ( Missa catechumenorum ); and 
were dismissed after the Sermon, before the proper Prayers of the Church, or Missa Fidelium. 

28 Karri^iwBriaav rfR xapuoi;, as above, p. 8, note 1, u ouv av Kara^iwBeR; 


27 


Homily I on Acts i. 1, 2. 


(ch. ii. 41; iv. 4, and ch. x.) and again Cornelius. Let us then not wait for a set time, lest by 
hesitating and putting off we depart empty, and destitute of so great gifts. What do you 
suppose is my anguish when I hear that any person has been taken away unbaptized, while 
I reflect upon the intolerable punishments of that life, the inexorable doom! Again, how I 
am grieved to behold others drawing near to their last gasp, and not brought to their right 
mind even then. Hence too it is that scenes take place quite unworthy of this gift. For 
whereas there ought to be joy, and dancing, and exultation, and wearing of garlands, when 
another is christened; the wife of the sick man has no sooner heard that the physician has 
ordered this, than she is overcome with grief, as if it were some dire calamity; she sets up 
the greatest lamentation, and nothing is heard all over the house but crying and wailing, 
just as it is when condemned criminals are led away to their doom. The sick man again is 
then more sorely grieved; and if he recovers from his illness, is as vexed as if some great 
harm had been done to him. For since he had not been prepared for a virtuous life, he has 
no heart for the conflicts which are to follow, and shrinks at the thought of them. Do you 
see what devices the devil contrives, what shame, what ridicule? Let us rid ourselves of this 
disgrace; let us live as Christ has enjoined. He gave us Baptism, not that we should receive 
and depart, but that we should show the fruits of it in our after life. How can one say to him 
who is departing and broken down, Bear fruit? Hast thou not heard that “the fruit of the 
Spirit is love, joy, peace?” (Gal. v. 22.) How comes it then that the very contrary takes place 
here? For the wife stands there mourning, when she ought to rejoice; the children weeping, 
when they ought to be glad together; the sick man himself lies there in darkness, and sur- 
rounded by noise and tumult, when he ought to be keeping high festival; full of exceeding 
despondency at the thought of leaving his children orphans, his wife a widow, his house 
desolate. Is this a state in which to draw near unto mysteries? answer me; is this a state in 
which to approach the sacred table? Are such scenes to be tolerated? Should the Emperor 
send letters and release the prisoners in the jails, there is joy and gladness: God sends down 
the Holy Ghost from Heaven to remit not arrears of money, but a whole mass of sins, and 
do ye all bewail and lament? Why, how grossly unsuitable is this! Not to mention that 
sometimes it is upon the dead that the water has been poured, and holy mysteries flung 
upon the ground. However, not we are to blame for this, but men who are so perverse. I 
exhort you then to leave all, and turn and draw near to Baptism with all alacrity, that having 
given proof of great earnestness at this present time, we may obtain confidence for that 
which is to come; whereunto that we may attain, may it be granted unto us all by the grace 
and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen. 


29 The Holy Communion, administered immediately after baptism. 


28 


Homily II on Acts i. 6. 


Homily II. 

Acts I. 6 

“When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, Lord, wilt Thou at this 

time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” 

When the disciples intend to ask anything, they approach Him together, that by dint 
of numbers they may abash Him into compliance. They well knew that in what He had said 
previously, “Of that day knoweth no man” (Matt. xxiv. 36), He had merely declined telling 
them: therefore they again drew near, and put the question. They would not have put it had 
they been truly satisfied with that answer. For having heard that they were about to receive 
the Holy Ghost, they, as being now worthy of instruction, desired to learn. Also they were 
quite ready for freedom: for they had no mind to address themselves to danger; what they 
wished was to breathe freely again; for they were no light matters that had happened to 
them, but the utmost peril had impended over them. And without saying any thing to Him 
of the Holy Ghost, they put this question: “Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore the kingdom 
to Israel?” They did not ask, when? but whether “at this time.” So eager were they for that 
day. Indeed, to me it appears that they had not any clear notion of the nature of that kingdom; 
for the Spirit had not yet instructed them. And they do not say, When shall these things 
be? but they approach Him with greater honour, saying, “Wilt Thou at this time restore 
again the kingdom,” as being now already fallen. For there they were still affected towards 
sensible objects, seeing they were not yet become better than those who were before them; 
here they have henceforth high conceptions concerning Christ. Since then their minds are 
elevated, He also speaks to them in a higher strain. For He no longer tells them, “Of that 
day not even the Son of Man knoweth” (Markxiii. 32); but He says, It is not for you to know 
the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in His own power (Acts i. 7.) Ye ask 
things greater than your capacity, He would say. And yet even now they learned things that 
were much greater than this. And that you may see that this is strictly the case, look how 
many things I shall enumerate. What, I pray you, was greater than their having learned what 
they did learn? Thus, they learned that there is a Son of God, and that God has a Son equal 
with Himself in dignity (John v. 17-20); they learned that there will be a resurrection (Matt, 
xvii. 9); that when He ascended He sat on the right hand of God (Luke xxii. 69); and what 


30 The emphatic position of ev ru> xpovw routo) as well as the answer of Jesus shows that the disciples’ 
earnest hope and expectation were that their Lord should, during their life-time, personally organize a kingdom 
on the basis of the Jewish theocracy. Chrys. is explicit in pointing out their incorrect conception of the kingdom 
of Christ, but does not here explain the specifically Jewish character of that conception. In the early disciples 
we behold the constant struggle of the Christian spirit to break away from the forms of Jewish nationalism. — G.B.S. 

29 


Homily II on Acts i. 6. 


is still more stupendous, that Flesh is seated in heaven, and adored by Angels, and that He 
will come again (Mark xvi. 19); they learned what is to take place in the judgment (Matt, 
xvi. 27); learned that they shall then sit and judge the twelve tribes of Israel (Luke xxi. 27); 
learned that the Jews would be cast out, and in their stead the Gentiles should come in (Matt, 
xix. 28). For, tell me, which is greater? to learn that a person will reign, or to learn the time 
when? (Luke xxi. 24). Paul learned “things which it is not lawful for a man to utter” (2 Cor. 
xii. 4); things that were before the world was made, he learned them all. Which is the more 
difficult, the beginning or the end? Clearly to learn the beginning. This, Moses learned, and 

o 1 

the time when, and how long ago: and he enumerates the years. And the wise Solomon 
saith, “I will make mention of things from the beginning of the world.” And that the time 
is at hand, they do know: as Paul saith, “The Lord is at hand, be careful for nothing.” (Phil, 
iv. 5). These things they knew not [then] , and yet He mentions many signs (Matt. ch. xxiv). 
But, as He has just said, “Not many days hence,” wishing them to be vigilant, and did not 
openly declare the precise moment, so is it here also. However, it is not about the general 
Consummation that they now ask Him, but, “Wilt Thou at this time,” say they, “restore the 
kingdom to Israel?” And not even this did He reveal to them. They also asked this [about 
the end of the world] before: and as on that occasion He answered by leading them away 
from thinking that their deliverance was near and, on the contrary, cast them into the midst 
of perils, so likewise on this occasion but more mildly. For, that they may not imagine 
themselves to be wronged, and these things to be mere pretences, hear what He says: He 
immediately gives them that at which they rej oiced: for He adds: “But ye shall receive power, 
after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jer- 
usalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts i. 
8.) Then, that they may make no more enquiries, straightway He was received up. Thus, 
just as on the former occasion He had darkened their minds by awe, and by saying, “I know 
not;” here also He does so by being taken up. For great was their eagerness on the subject, 
and they would not have desisted; and yet it was very necessary that they should not learn 
this. For tell me, which do the Gentiles most disbelieve? that there will be a consummation 

IT 

of the world, or that God is become man, and issued from the Virgin? But I am ashamed 
of dwelling on this point, as if it were about some difficult matter. Then again, that the dis- 
ciples might not say, Why dost thou leave the matter in suspense? He adds, “Which the 


31 Cod. C. omits this sentence here, and inserts it below (p. 12), where it is evidently out of place. The passage 
referred to seems to be Ecclus. 51, 8. 

32 The connection must be supplied: e.g. It was not that this point of knowledge was too high for them; for, 
as has been shown, they knew already, or were soon to know, things much higher than this, and which their 
hearers would find much harder to believe. For tell me, etc. 

33 Here C. has the sentence: “Also the wise Solomon saith, etc.” p. ii, note 1. 


30 


Homily II on Acts i. 6. 


Father hath put in His own power.” And yet He declared the Father’s power and His to be 
one: as in the saying, “For as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so 
the Son quickeneth whom He will.” (John v. 21.) If where need is to work, Thou actest with 
the same power as the Father; where it behooves to know, dost Thou not know with the 
same power? Yet certainly to raise up the dead is much greater than to learn the day. If the 
greater be with power, much more the other. 

But just as when we see a child crying, and pertinaciously wishing to get something 
from us that is not expedient for him, we hide the thing, and show him our empty hands, 
and say, “See, we have it not:” the like has Christ here done with the Apostles. But as the 
child, even when we show 34 him [our empty hands], persists with his crying, conscious he 
has been deceived, and then we leave him, and depart, saying, “Such an one calls me:” and 
we give him something else instead, in order to divert him from his desire, telling him it is 

o r 

a much finer thing than the other, and then hasten away; in like manner Christ acted. The 
disciples asked to have something, and He said He had it not. And on the first occasion he 
frightened them. Then again they asked to have it now: He said He had it not; and He did 

o /r 

not frighten them now, but after having shown [the empty hands], He has done this, and 

'in 

gives them a plausible reason: “Which the Father,” He says, “hath put in his own power.” 

34 Kai SeiKvuvrwv qptov, C. the modern text has jarj. 

35 These illustrations, which seem to admit a half deceptive element in our Lord’s conversations, are as little 
justified by the passage in hand as by the character of Jesus. What Jesus promises, viz.: the Holy Spirit, is not 
promised in order to “divert” the disciples from their desire, but to assure to them a greater blessing than they 
then knew how to anticipate. The disciples wish a temporal kingdom with personal prerogatives; Jesus promises 
them the Spirit of Truth and opens before them the life of spiritual growth and usefulness. The illustration would 
have been more appropriate, had Chrys. said: “The child persists in his crying, but Jesus quiets him by giving 
him something far better than he had asked.” — G.B.S. 

36 ’AAAa perd to 5eT^at (as above, Kai Seikvuvtwv f|pu>v, sc. yupvaq ra<; xetpaq), toOto TterolqKEv, sc. cpofteT. 
The mss. except C and A, and the Edd. have 5 before TteiioiqKev, which gives no sense. 

37 Chrys. therefore explains these sayings of our Lord (polemically against the Arians) as otKOvopla: i.e. the 
thing said is not objectively true, but the morality of all actions depends on the subjective condition of the 
Ttpoaipeaic; or purpose (raxpa rqv i a>v xpwpevwv TtpoalpEaiv yiyvEtat cpauAov rj KaAdv, de Sacerdot. 1. 8.), so 
that where this is right and good, a deception is lawful. This lax view of the morality of Truth was very general 
in the Greek Church: not so in the early Latin Church. See the two Treatises of St. Augustine, De Mendacio 
(“Lib. of Fathers,” Seventeen Short Treatises of St. Aug.) The stricter doctrine however is maintained by St. Basil, 
who in his shorter Monastic Rule peremptorily condemns all otKOvopla, and pious fraud ( ojficiosium mendacium ) 
of every description, on. the ground that all falsehood is from Satan, John v. 44. and that our Lord has made no 
distinction between one sort of lying and another. Again, the monk Johannes ofLycopolis in Egypt: “All falsehood 
is foreign from Christ and Christian men, be it in a small or in a great matter: yea, though a good end be served 


31 


Homily II on Acts i. 6. 


What? Thou not know the things of the Father! Thou knowest Him, and not what belongs 
to Him! And yet Thou hast said, “None knoweth the Father but the Son” (Luke x. 25); and, 
“The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (1 Cor. ii. 10); and Thou not 
know this! But they feared to ask Him again, lest they should hear Him say, “Are ye also 
without understanding?” (Matt. xv. 26.) For they feared Him now much more than before. 
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” As in the former 
instance He had not answered their question (for it is the part of a teacher to teach not what 
the disciple chooses, but what is expedient for him to learn), so in this, He tells them before- 
hand, for this reason, what they ought to know, that they may not be troubled. In truth, they 
were yet weak. But to inspire them with confidence, He raised up their souls, and concealed 
what was grievous. Since he was about to leave them very shortly, therefore in this discourse 
He says nothing painful. But how? He extols as great the things which would be painful: all 
but saying, “‘Fear not’: for ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon 
you; and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria.” 
For since he had said, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samar- 
itans enter ye not” (Matt. x. 5), what there He left unsaid, He here adds, “And to the uttermost 
part of the earth;” and having spoken this, which was more fearful than all the rest, then 
that they may not again question Him, He held His peace. “And having this said, while they 
beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight” (v. 9). Seest thou that 
they did preach and fulfil the Gospel? For great was the gift He had bestowed on them. In 
the very place, He says, where ye are afraid, that is, in Jerusalem, there preach ye first, and 
afterwards unto the uttermost part of the earth. Then for assurance of what He had said, 
“While they beheld, He was taken up.” Not “while they beheld” did He rise from the dead, 
but “while they beheld, He was taken up.” Inasmuch, however, as the sight of their eyes even 
here was not all-sufficient; for in the Resurrection they saw the end, but not the beginning, 
and in the Ascension they saw the beginning, but not the end: because in the former it had 
been superfluous to have seen the beginning, the Lord Himself Who spake these things being 
present, and the sepulchre showing clearly that He is not there; but in the latter, they needed 
to be informed of the sequel by word of others: inasmuch then as their eyes do not suffice 
to show them the height above, nor to inform them whether He is actually gone up into 
heaven, or only seemingly into heaven, see then what follows. That it was Jesus Himself they 
knew from the fact that He had been conversing with them (for had they seen only from a 

OQ 

distance, they could not have recognized Him by sight), but that He is taken up into 

by it, it is never to be allowed, for the Saviour hath declared, that all lying is from the Wicked One.” Pallad, Hist. 
Lausiac in Bibl. Patr. t. xiii. p. 965. 

38 noppw0£v yap ouk evrjv ihovrai; yvtovat; i.e. had they but seen the Ascension from a distance, and not 
been conversing with the Lord at the moment of His Assumption. Cod. E. transposes the clause to the end of 


32 


Homily II on Acts i. 6. 


Heaven the Angels themselves inform them. Observe how it is ordered, that not all is done 
by the Spirit, but the eyes also do their part. But why did “a cloud receive Him?” This too 
was a sure sign that He went up to Heaven. Not fire, as in the case of Elijah, nor fiery 

•3Q 

chariot, but “a cloud received Him;” which was a symbol of Heaven, as the Prophet says; 
“Who maketh the clouds His chariot” (Ps. civ. 3); it is of the Father Himself that this is said. 
Therefore he says, “on a cloud;” in the symbol, he would say, of the Divine power, for no 
other Power is seen to appear on a cloud. For hear again what another Prophet says: “The 
Ford sitteth upon a light cloud” (Is. xix. 1). For 40 it was while they were listening with great 
attention to what He was saying, and this in answer to a very interesting question, and with 
their minds fully aroused and quite awake, that this thing took place. Also on the mount 
[Sinai] the cloud was because of Him: since Moses also entered into the darkness, but the 
cloud there was not because of Moses. And He did not merely say, “I go,” lest they should 
again grieve, but He said, “I send the Spirit” (John xvi. 5, 7); and that He was going away 
into heaven they saw with their eyes. O what a sight they were granted! “And while they 
looked stedfastly,” it is said, “toward heaven, as he went up, behold, two men stood by them 
in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? 
This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven” — they used the expression “This” 
demonstratively, saying, “this Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall 
thus” — demonstratively, “in this way” — “come in like manner as ye have seen Him going 
into heaven.” (v. 10, 11.) Again, the outward appearance is cheering [“in white apparel”]. 
They were Angels, in the form of men. And they say, “Ye men of Galilee:” they showed 
themselves to be trusted by the disciples, by saying, “Ye men of Galilee.” For this was the 
meaning: else, what needed they to be told of their country, who knew it well enough? By 
their appearance also they attracted their regard, and shewed that they were from heaven. 
But wherefore does not Christ Himself tell them these things, instead of the Angels? He had 
beforehand told them all things; [“What if ye shall see the Son of Man] going up where He 
was before?” (John vi. 62). 


the sentence; meaning that they could not by mere sight have been cognizant of the fact of His ascension into 
heaven. 

39 Ps. civ. 3. 6 Ti0ri(; vecpet rf]v £7n(3aaiv aurou: “Who maketh on a cloud His stepping,” or, “going.” 

40 At first sight it looks as if this sentence were out of place here. But the connection may be thus explained: 
this circumstance, of the cloud, is not idle, but very significant; and the minds of the disciples were alive to its 
import, as betokening His Godhead. True, might it not also be said of Moses on the mount Sinai, that a cloud 
received him out of their sight? For “Moses entered into the darkness,” Exod. xx. 21. But the cloud there was 
because of Him, “where God was,” not because of Moses. 


33 


Homily II on Acts i. 6. 


Moreover the Angels did not say, ‘whom you have seen taken up,’ but, “going into 
heaven:” ascension is the word, not assumption; the expression “taken up,” 41 belongs to the 
flesh. For the same reason they say, “He which is taken up from you shall thus come,” not, 
“shall be sent,” but, “shall come. He that ascended, the same is he also that descended” (Eph. 
iv. 10). So again the expression, “a cloud received Him:” for He Himself mounted upon the 
cloud. Of the expressions, some are adapted to the conceptions of the disciples, some 
agreeable with the Divine Majesty. Now, as they behold, their conceptions are elevated: He 
has given them no slight hint of the nature of His second coming. For this, “Shall thus come,” 
means, with the body; which thing they desired to hear; and, that he shall come again to 
judgment “thus” upon a cloud. “And, behold, two men stood by them.” Why is it said, 
“men?” Because they had fashioned themselves completely as such, that the beholders might 
not be overpowered. “Which also said:” their words moreover were calculated for soothing: 
“Why stand ye gazing up into heaven?” They would not let them any longer wait there for 
Him. Here again, these tell what is greater, and leave the less unsaid. That “He will thus 
come,” they say, and that “ye must look for Him from heaven.” For the rest, they called them 
off from that spectacle to their saying, that they might not, because they could not see Him, 
imagine that He was not ascended, but even while they are conversing, would be present 
ere they were aware. For if they said on a former occasion, “Whither goest Thou?” (John 
xiii. 36) much more would they have said it now. 42 

“Wilt Thou at this time,” say they, “restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Recapitulation). 
They so well knew his mildness, that after His Passion also they ask Him, “Wilt thou restore?” 
And yet He had before said to them, “Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, but the end 
is not yet,” nor shall Jerusalem be taken. But now they ask Him about the kingdom, not 
about the end. And besides, He does not speak at great length with them after the Resurrec- 
tion. They address then this question, as thinking that they themselves would be in high 
honor, if this should come to pass. But He (for as touching this restoration, that it was not 
to be, He did not openly declare; for what needed they to learn this? hence they do not again 


41 i.e. the Angels had before used the phrase of assumption: but this does not express the whole matter; 
therefore, to show that it is the act of His own Divine power, they now say, going and afterwards express it that 
He will come, not that He will be sent. He ascended, as He descended, by His own Divine power. So again it is 
said, “A cloud received Him:” but in this He was not passive; as God He stepped upon the cloud: £ite(3r| alluding 
to the expression in the Psalm above cited, ri0£i<; rijv £in(3aaiv. 

42 All the Editions and the Latin Versions connect with this the following sentence: “Much more would they 
have said now, Dost Thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” But it is evident, that at this point begins 
the recapitulation, or renewed exposition. It is in fact a peculiarity of these Discourses, that Chrys. having gone 
through the exposition of the text, often, as here, goes over the same ground again, usually with some such formula 
as, “But let us look through what has been said from the beginning.” 


34 


Homily II on Acts i. 6. 


ask, “What is the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?” for they are afraid to 
say that: but, “Wilt Thou restore the kingdom to Israel?” for they thought there was such a 
kingdom), but He, I say, both in parables had shown that the time was not near, 43 and here 
where they asked, and He answered thereto, “Ye shall receive power,” says He, “when the 
Holy Ghost is come upon you. Is come upon you,” not, “is sent,” [to shew the Spirit’s coequal 
Majesty. How then darest thou, O opponent of the Spirit, to call Him a creature 44 ?]. “And 
ye shall be witnesses to Me.” He hinted at the Ascension. [“And when he had spoken these 
things. 45 ] Which they had heard before, and He now reminds them of. [“He was taken up.”] 
Already it has been shown, that He went up into heaven. [“And a cloud, etc.”] “Clouds and 
darkness are under His feet,” (Ps. xviii. 9; xcvii. 2) saith the Scripture: for this is declared by 
the expression, “And a cloud received Him:” the Lord of heaven, it means. For as a king is 
shown by the royal chariot, so was the royal chariot sent for Him. [“Behold, two men, etc.] 
That they may vent no sorrowful exclamations, and that it might not be with them as it was 
with Elisha, (2 Kings ii. 12) who, when his master was taken up, rent his mantle. And what 
say they? “This Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall thus come.” And, “Be- 
hold, two men stood by them.” (Matt, xviii. 16.) With good reason: for “in the mouth of 
two witnesses shall every word be established” (Deut. xvii. 6): and these utter the same things. 
And it is said, that they were “in white apparel.” In the same manner as they had already 
seen an Angel at the sepulchre, who had even told them their own thoughts; so here also an 
Angel is the preacher of His Ascension; although indeed the Prophets had frequently foretold 
it, as well as the Resurrection. 46 

Everywhere it is Angels as at the Nativity, “for that which is conceived in her,” saith 
one, “is by the Holy Ghost” (Matt. i. 20): and again to Mary, “Fear not, Mary.” (Luke i. 30.) 
And at the Resurrection: “He is not here; He is risen, and goeth before you.” (ib. xxiv. 6.) 
“Come, and see!” (Matt, xxviii. 6.) And at the Second Coming. For that they may not be 
utterly in amaze, therefore it is added, “Shall thus come.” (ib. xxv. 31.) They recover their 
breath a little; if indeed He shall come again, if also thus come, and not be unapproachable! 



43 The reference here must be to such parables as: “The Sower,” “The Leaven,” “The Grain of Mustard Seed.” 
(Matt. xiii. 1-43), and the parable of the Growing Seed (Mark iv. 26-29), all of which seem to represent the 
progress of his truth as a long and slow development. To these might be added such expressions as £u><; rfj<; 
ouvreMlai; rou al& 242-voi; (Matt, xxviii. 20) and ewe eaxatou trR yrR (Acts i. 8).— G.B.S. 

44 This sentence is from the later recension. 

45 The text of these Homilies is often greatly confused by the omission, especially in the recapitulations, of 
the words on which Chrys. is commenting. 

46 Here Erasmus has followed another reading (of E.), the very reverse in sense; “And if indeed the Prophets 
did not foretell this, be not astonished, for it was superfluous to say any thing individually about this, being ne- 
cessarily involved in the idea of the resurrection, (rfj dvaordoet auwooupevry;).” 


35 


Homily II on Acts i. 6. 


And that expression also, that it is “from them” He is taken up, is not idly added. 47 And of 
the Resurrection indeed Christ Himself bears witness (because of all things this is, next to 
the Nativity, nay even above the Nativity, the most wonderful: His raising Himself to life 
again): for, “Destroy,” He says, “this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (John ii. 
19.) “Shall thus come,” say they. If any therefore desires to see Christ; if any grieves that he 
has not seen Him: having this heard, let him show forth an admirable life, and certainly he 
shall see Him, and shall not be disappointed. For Christ will come with greater glory, though 
“thus,” in this manner, with a body 49 ; and much more wondrous will it be to see Him des- 
cending from heaven. But for what He will come, they do not add. 

[“Shall thus come,” etc.] This is a confirmation of the Resurrection; for if he was taken 
up with a body, much rather must He have risen again with a body. Where are those who 
disbelieve the Resurrection? Who are they, I pray? Are they Gentiles, or Christians? for I 
am ignorant. But no, I know well: they are Gentiles, who also disbelieve the work of Creation. 
For the two denials go together: the denial that God creates any thing from nothing, and 
the denial that He raises up what has been buried. But then, being ashamed to be thought 
such as “know not the power of God” (Matt. xxii. 29), that we may not impute this to them, 
they allege: We do not say it with this meaning, but because there is no need of the body. 
Truly it maybe seasonably said, “The fool will speak foolishness.” (Is. xxxii. 6.) Are you not 
ashamed not to grant, that God can create from nothing? If he creates from matter already 
existing, wherein does He differ from men? But whence, you demand, are evils? Though 
you should not know whence, ought you for that to introduce another evil in the knowledge 
of evils? Hereupon two absurdities follow. For if you do not grant, that from things which 
are not, God made the things which are, much more shall you be ignorant whence are evils: 
and then, again, you introduce another evil, the affirming that Evil (rf]v Kondav) is uncreated. 
Consider now what a thing it is, when you wish to find the source of evils, to be both ignorant 
of it, and to add another to it. Search after the origin of evils, and do not blaspheme God. 
And how do I blaspheme? says he. When you make out that evils have a power equal to 
God’s; a power uncreated. For, observe what Paul says; “For the invisible things of Him 
from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are 
made.” (Rom. i. 20.) But the devil would have both to be of matter, that there may be nothing 


47 In the later recension it is added: “but is declaratory of His love towards them, and of their election, and 
that He will not leave those whom He has chosen.” 

48 John ii. 19; iy d) eyspw aurov, Chrys. adding the pronoun for emphasis. 

49 The emphasis of the ourux; and ov rpottov is better preserved if we interpret them to mean visibly, or with 
the accompaniment of a cloud, in reference to the ve<peA.r| (9), rather than merely (as Chrys.) “with a body.” 
They had not raised the question as to his coming with or without a body. What they wanted to know was 
whether he was coming in such a way that they could recognize him. — G.B.S. 


36 


Homily II on Acts i. 6. 


left from which we may come to the knowledge of God. For tell me, whether is harder: to 50 
take that which is by nature evil (if indeed there be ought such; for I speak upon your prin- 
ciples, since there is no such thing as evil by nature), and make it either good, or even coef- 
ficent of good? or, to make of nothing? Whether is easier (I speak of quality); to induce the 
non-existent quality; or to take the existing quality, and change it into its contrary? where 
there is no house, to make the house; or where it is utterly destroyed, to make it identically 
exist again? Why, as this is impossible, so is that: to make a thing into its opposite. Tell me, 
whether is harder; to make a perfume, or to make filth have the effect of perfume? Say, 
whether of these is easier (since we subject God to our reasonings: nay, not we, but ye); to 
form eyes, or to make a blind man to see continuing blind, and yet more sharp-sighted, than 
one who does see? To make blindness into sight, and deafness into hearing? To me the 
other seems easier. Say then do you grant God that which is harder, and not grant the easier? 
But souls also they affirm to be of His substance. Do you see what a number of impieties 
and absurdities are here! In the first place, wishing to show that evils are from God, they 
bring in another thing more impious than this, that they are equal with Him in majesty, 
and God prior in existence to none of them, assigning this great prerogative even to them! 
In the next place, they affirm evil to be indestructible: for if that which is uncreated can be 
destroyed, ye see the blasphemy! So that it comes to this, either 51 that nothing is of God if 
not these; or that these are God! Thirdly, what I have before spoken of, in this point they 
defeat themselves, and prepare against themselves fresh indignation. Fourthly, they affirm 
unordered matter to possess such inherent (eTCirqSetorqra) power. Fifthly, that evil is the 
cause of the goodness of God, and that without this the Good had not been good. Sixthly, 
they bar against us the ways of attaining unto the knowledge of God. Seventhly, they bring 
God down into men, yea plants and logs. For if our soul be of the substance of God, but the 
process of its transmigration into new bodies brings it at last into cucumbers, and melons, 


50 The text in both classes of manuscripts, and in the Edd., needs reformation. The argument is, If good and 
evil be, as the Manichaeans say, both self-subsistent, then evil must subsist for ever. For if, as they affirm, God 
cannot create out of nothing, neither can He change a thing into its opposite; nay, much less, for this is harder 
than that. In E. (the text of the Edd.) the reading is, to cpuoet kcxkov kocAov kocAov Jtot'aat (ex ye ri eon vcaSu 
upa" yap Aeyto: cpuoet yap ouSev earn Jtot'aat koikov KaAou ouvepyov) ' to el, ouk ovtcov: which as usual in this 
ms. is an attempt to explain the meaning, but is not what the context requires, in C. A. (the original text) to 
cpuoet kokov tratrjoat (et ye ri eon- Ka0’ upaq yap Aeyw cpuoet yap ouSev eon ttotijoat kockov rj kocAov Kat KaAou 
ouvepyov) rj to [ouk. A', e^ ouk ovtcov. Read, to cpuoet kockov (et ye ri eon- koc0’ upccq yap Aeyto- cpuoet yap ouSev 
eon kockov) ttotfjoat rj kocAov rj Kat KaAou ouvepyov. 

51 QoTe dcvayKq rj pr|5ev tou 0eou etvat el pi) tocutot & 217- Kat 0e ov etvat. For so it seems the passage 
should be read, for which the mss. have rj et pt) tocutoc, and then in the older text, rj kou 0e ov etvat, for which 
the modern recension, D. E. F. and Edd. have rj Kat 0e ov pi) etvat. 


37 



Homily II on Acts i. 6. 


and onions, why then the substance of God will pass into cucumbers! And if we say, that 
the Holy Ghost fashioned the Temple [of our Lord’s body] in the Virgin, they laugh us to 
scorn: and if, that He dwelt in that spiritual Temple, again they laugh; while they themselves 
are not ashamed to bring down God’s substance into cucumbers, and melons, and flies, and 
caterpillars, and asses, thus excogitating a new fashion of idolatry: for let it not be as the 
Egyptians have it, “The onion is God;” but let it be, “God in the onion”! Why dost thou 
shrink from the notion of God’s entering into a body? ‘It is shocking,’ says he. Why then 

c o 

this is much more shocking. But, forsooth, it is not shocking — how should it be? — this 
same thing which is so, if it be into us! ‘But thy notion is indeed shocking.’ Do ye see the 
filthiness of their impiety? — But why do they not wish the body to be raised? And why do 
they say the body is evil? By what then, tell me, dost thou know God? by what hast thou the 


52 Tqv evatopccTtoaiv rou 0£ou. Edd. pETevacopctTcoaiv. But the Manichees affirmed a pETEvawpctTtoaiv of 
the particle of the Divine Substance, the human soul; viz. the more polluted soul transmigrates into other men, 
and animals ( Archelai et Manet. Disput. §. ix. Routh, Rell. Sacc. iv. 161.), but in the last stage of the process of 
its purgation, into vegetable substances less attached to the earth by roots, such as gourds, etc. in which the Divine 
particle is self-conscious and intelligent (see the following note), whereas in animal substances it is brutified. In 
this sense it is said above, f[ pETEva. EKpalvEt Etc; aucuouc; k. r. X. What they denied was, an EvacopcxTtoaic; 0eoo 
by Incarnation. 

53 ’AAA’ ouk alaxpov; itwc; yap; oitep (om. A.) av etc; r|pac; yEvrpar to 5e aov ovtcoc; alaxpov. Edd. aAA’ ouk 
alaxpov; itcoc;; ottep yap avEtqqpaqyEvriTai ovtcoc; alaxpov. Erasmus; An non hoc turpeest? Quomodo non turpe 
sit in Deum, quod, si nobis contingat, revera turpe futurum sit? Ben. Quandoquidem si in nobis fiat, vere turpe 
est. i.e. For, that same which, if it take place in us, is indeed shocking [how should it not be so in God?]. The 
exclamation, EI'Sete oupcperov da£(3£ta<;! seems to imply either that ovtcoc; alaxpov is part of the Manichaean’s 
reply, or that something is omitted. Perhaps the reporter wrote, to 5e a. ovtcoc; alaxpov, meaning acopa: “But 
the body, etc.” "Av etc; qpac; yEvrpai can hardly be, as taken by Erasm., quod si nobis contingat, i.e. that our 
substance should migrate into plants, etc. but rather, if it be into us that this (embodying of the Divine Substance) 
takes place. For illustration of the Manichaean tenets here alluded to, comp. Euod. de Fid. adv. Munich. §35. 
{Opp. St. Augustin., Append, t. viii. Ben.) Non Deus Manichcei luctum pateretur de partis sure abscissione vel 
amissione; quam partem dicuntquum infructibus vel in herbis fuerit, id est, in melone, vel beta, vel talibus rebus, 
et principium suum et medietatem etfinem nosse, cum autem ad carnem venerit omnem intelligentiam amittere; 
ut propterea magister hominibus missus sit, quia stulta in illis facta est pars Dei, etc “Then the God of the 
Manichaean would not suffer grief in consequence of the cutting off or loss of part of his substance; which part, 
they say, if it be in fruits or in herbs, as in the melon or beet or such like, knows its beginning and middle and 
end; but when it comes to flesh, loses all intelligence: so that the reason why the Teacher was sent to men was, 
because in them the particle of God was stultified, etc.” And Commonitor, de recip. Manich. Art. 3. (ibid.) ut 
credatur pars Dei polluta teneri in cucumeribus et melonibus et radiculis etporris et quibusque vilissimis herbulis, 


etc. 


38 



Homily II on Acts i. 6. 


knowledge of existing things? The philosopher too: by means of what is he a philosopher, 
if the body does nothing towards it? Deaden the senses, and then learn something of the 
things one needs to know! What would be more foolish than a soul, if from the first it had 
the senses deadened? If the deadening of but a single part, I mean of the brain, becomes a 
marring of it altogether; if all the rest should be deadened, what would it be good for? Show 
me a soul without a body. Do you not hear physicians say, The presence of disease sadly 
enfeebles the soul? How long will ye put off hanging yourselves? Is the body material? tell 
me. “To be sure, it is.” Then you ought to hate it. Why do you feed, why cherish it? You 
ought to get quit of this prison. But besides: “God cannot overcome matter, unless he 
(oupTiAaKq) implicate himself with it: for he cannot issue orders to it (O feebleness!) until 
he close with it, and (crraGrj) take his stand (say you) through the whole of it!” And a king 
indeed does all by commanding; but God, not by commanding the evil! In short, if it were 
unparticipant of all good, it could not subsist at all. For Evil cannot subsist, unless it lay hold 
upon somewhat of the accidents of Virtue: so that if it had been heretofore all unmixed with 
virtue, it would have perished long ago: for such is the condition of evils. Let there be a 
profligate man, let him put upon himself no restraint whatever, will he live ten days? Let 
there be a robber, and devoid of all conscience in his dealings with every one, let him be 
such even to his fellow-robbers, will he be able to live? Let there be a thief, void of all shame, 
who knows not what blushing is, but steals openly in public. It is not in the nature of evils 
to subsist, unless they get some small share at least in good. So that hereupon, according to 
these men, God gave them their subsistence. Let there be a city of wicked men; will it stand? 
But let them be wicked, not only with regard to the good, but towards each other. Why, it 
is impossible such a city should stand. Truly, “professing themselves to be wise, they became 
fools.” (Rom. i. 22.) If bodily substance be evil, then all things visible exist idly, and in vain, 
both water and earth, and sun, and air; for air is also body, though not solid. It is in point 
then to say, “The wicked have told me foolish things.” (Ps. cxix. 85.) But let not us endure 
them, let us block up our ears against them. For there is, yea, there is, a resurrection of 
bodies. This the sepulchre which is at Jerusalem declares, this the pillar 54 to which He was 
bound, when He was scourged. For, “We did eat and drink with Him,” it is said. Let us then 
believe in the Resurrection, and do things worthy of it, that we may attain to the good things 
which are to come, through Christ Jesus our Lord, with Whom to the Father, and the Holy 
Ghost together, be power, honor, now and for ever, world without end. Amen. 


54 to ^uAov ev0a Ttpoae5e0r| teat £pacmYW0r|. The ‘Pillar of Flagellation’ is exhibited in the Latin Choir of 
the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. 


39 


Homily III on Acts i. 12. 


Homily III. 

Acts I. 12 

“Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem 
a sabbath day’s journey.” 

“Then returned they,” it is said: namely, when they had heard. For they could not have 
borne it, if the angel had not (uTiepeBero) referred them to another Coming. It seems to me, 
that it was also on a sabbath-day 55 that these things took place; for he would not thus have 
specified the distance, saying, “from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a 
sabbath day’s journey,” unless they were then going on the sabbath-day a certain definite 
distance. “And when they were come in,” it says, “they went up into an upper room, where 
they were making their abode:” so they then remained in Jerusalem after the Resurrection: 
“both Peter, and James, and John:” no longer is only the latter together with his brother 
mentioned, 56 but together with Peter the two: “and Andrew, and Philip, and Thomas, 
Bartholomew, and Matthew, and James (the son) of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas, 

c n 

(the brother) of James.” (v. 13.) He has done well to mention the disciples: for since one 
had betrayed Christ, and another had been unbelieving, he thereby shows that, except the 
first, all of them were preserved. 

“These were all continuing with one accord in prayer together with the women.” (v. 
14.) For this is a powerful weapon in temptations; and to this they had been trained. 
[“Continuing with one accord.”] Good. (kocAcoc;). Besides, the present temptation directed 
them to this: for they exceedingly feared the Jews. “With the women,” it is said: for he had 
said that they had followed Him: “and with Mary the mother of Jesus.” (Luke xxiii. 55.) How 
then [is it said, that “that disciple”] took her to his own home” (John xix. 26), at that time? 


55 This must be taken as a hasty remark, unless (which is not likely) a sabbath extraordinary is meant. 

56 The meaning seems to be, “he is not content to mention only James and John with Peter, but gives the full 
list of the Apostles.” 

57 The meaning of ’Iou5oc<; ’I(xku)(3ou (i. 13, cf. Luke vi. 16) is a disputed point. Whether the genitive denotes 
the relation of brother or son has never been decided. The interpretation of the English translators is allowed 
to stand because it is, probably, the more common one and has many able modern exegetes in its favor among 
whom are Buttmann, Gram. N.T. Gk. (Eng. Trans.) p. 94. and, more doubtfully, Winer, N.T. Gram. (Eng. Trans.) 
p. 190. It is, however, certain that usage is strongly in favor, of supplying uto<;. The former view identifies this 
Judas with the author of the Epistle (Jud. i. 1) and is that of our older English Trans. The latter understands this 
Judas to be the son of an unknown James and is favored by Thayer’s Lex., Meyer and the Revised Vs. To me this 
view seems probably correct. — G.B.S. 


40 


Homily III on Acts i. 12. 


c o 

But then the Lord had brought them together again, and so returned. “And with His 
brethren.” (John xvii. 5.) These also were before unbelieving. “And in those days,” it says, 
“Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said.” (v. 15.) Both as being ardent, and as 
having been put in trust by Christ with the flock, and as having precedence in honor, 59 he 
always begins the discourse. (“The number of the names together were about an hundred 
and twenty.) Men and brethren,” he says, “this Scripture must needs have been fulfilled, 
which the Holy Ghost spake before,” 60 [etc.] (v. 16.) Why did he not ask Christ to give him 
some one in the room of Judas? It is better as it is. For in the first place, they were engaged 
in other things; secondly, of Christ’s presence with them, the greatest proof that could be 
given was this: as He had chosen when He was among them, so did He now being absent. 
Now this was no small matter for their consolation. But observe how Peter does everything 
with the common consent; nothing imperiously. And he does not speak thus without a 
meaning. But observe how he consoles them concerning what had passed. In fact, what had 
happened had caused them no small consternation. For if there are many now who canvass 
this circumstance, what may we suppose they had to say then? 

“Men and brethren,” says Peter. For if the Lord called them brethren, much more may 
he. [“Men,” he says]: they all being present. 61 See the dignity of the Church, the angelic 
condition! No distinction there, “neither male nor female.” I would that the Churches were 
such now! None there had his mind full of some worldly matter, none was anxiously 


58 IlaAiv 5e auvayay wv autoix; ourax; KarfjASev. So the older text: i.e. When they were scattered every man 
to his own home, that disciple had taken her eic; ra !5ta. But after the Resurrection Christ had gathered them 
together, and so (with all assembled) had returned to the usual place or mode of living. 

59 nponporepoc;, b.c.: Ttporiptopevoc; A. and Catena: rou xopou Ttpcotoq, E. D. F. Comp. Horn, in Matt. liv. t. 
ii. 107. “What then saith the mouth of the Apostles, Peter? He, the ever ardent, the coryphaeus of the choir of 
the Apostles.” 

60 Chrys. seems to have read on to the end of the chapter. The rest of the citation being omitted in the mss. 
the remodeller of the text makes alterations, and adds matter of his own, to make the exposition run smoother. 
“Why did he not ask Christ, alone, to give him some one in the place of Judas? And why of their own selves do 
they not make the election?” Then instead of (3eActov yeyove A.outov Ttpwrov pev yap, k. r. A. he has, fteAriwv 
Amirov f|v yeyovux; 6 ngrpoc; aurop eaurou, k. t. A. “Peter has now become a better man than he was. So much 
for this point. But as to their request to have their body filled up not simply, but by revelation, we will mention 
two reasons; first,” etc. 

61 Edd. “Wherefore he uses this address, they all being present.” But the old text has simply iravrwv irapovrwv, 
i.e., all, both men and women. Chrys. is commenting on the address avSpeq a5eA<poi as including the women 
also who were before said to be present. Comp. Horn, in Matt, lxxiii. p. 712, B. on the separation of men and 
women in the Churches. 


41 


Homily III on Acts i. 12. 


thinking about household concerns. Such a benefit are temptations, such the advantage of 
afflictions! 

“This Scripture,” says he, “must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost spake 
before.” Always he comforts them by the prophecies. So does Christ on all occasions. In the 
very same way, he shows here that no strange thing had happened, but what had already 
been foretold. “This Scripture must needs have been fulfilled,” he says, “which the Holy 
Ghost by the mouth of David spake before.” He does not say, David, but the Spirit through 
him. See what kind of doctrine the writer has at the very outset of the book. Do you see, that 
it was not for nothing that I said in the beginning of this work, that this book is the Polity 
of the Holy Spirit? “Which the Holy Ghost spake before by the mouth of David.” Observe 
how he appropriates (oiKeiourai) him; and that it is an advantage to them, that this was 
spoken by David, and not by some other Prophet. “Concerning Judas,” he says, “which was 
guide.” Here again mark the philosophical temper of the man: how he does not mention 
him with scorn, nor say, “that wretch,” “that miscreant:” but simply states the fact; and does 
not even say, “who betrayed Him,” but does what he can to transfer the guilt to others: nor 
does he animadvert severely even on these: “Which was guide,” he says, “to them that took 
Jesus.” Furthermore, before he declares where David had spoken, he relates what had been 
the case with Judas, that from the things present he may fetch assurance of the things future, 
and show that this man had already received his due. “For he was numbered,” says he, “with 
us, and had obtained part of this ministry. Now this man acquired a field out of the reward 
ofiniquity.” (v. 17, 18.) Hegives his discourse a moral turn, and covertly mentions thecause 
of the wickedness, because it carried reproof with it. And he does not say, The Jews, but, 
“this man, acquired” it. For since the minds of weak persons do not attend to things future, 
as they do to things present, he discourses of the immediate punishment inflicted. “And 
falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst.” He does well to dilate not upon the sin, 
but upon the punishment. “And,” he says, “all his bowels gushed out.” This brought them 

/TO 

consolation. “And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field 


62 A.av0av6vrwi; Aiyet rr]v aitiav, Ttat5£urtKf]v ouaav: i.e. “in speaking of the wages of Judas, he indicates, 
that the Jews, by whom he was hired, were the authors of the wickedness: but because this carried reproof, he 
does it covertly, by implication.” In the next sentence, he goes on to another point of the exposition, Kai ou 
Aiyet, K. t. X. i.e. “And observe also, that with the same wise forbearance, he says it not of the Jews, but of Judas, 
that a piece of ground was all that was gotten by this wickedness: now, in fact, not Judas earned this, but the 
Jews.” The modern text has ou Aiyet yap. 

63 Touto raxpapuBlav eKelvou; ecpepe. Something seems to be omitted here. 


42 


Homily III on Acts i. 12. 


is called in their proper tongue Aceldama, that is to say, the field of blood.” (v. 19). Now the 
Jews 64 gave it this name, not on this account, but because of Judas; here, however, Peter 
makes it to have this reference, and when he brings forward the adversaries as witnesses, 
both by the fact that they named it, and by saying, “in their proper tongue,” this is what he 
means. 

Then after the event, he appositely brings in the Prophet, saying, “For it is written in 
the Book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein” (v. 20) (Ps. 
lxix. 25): this is said of the field and the dwelling: “And his bishopric let another take; that 
is, his office, his priesthood. So that this, he says, is not my counsel, but His who hath foretold 
these things. For, that he may not seem to be undertaking a great thing, and just such as 
Christ had done, he adduces the Prophet as a witness. “Wherefore it behooves of these men 
which have companied with us all the time.” (v. 21.) Why does he make it their business 
too? That the matter might not become an object of strife, and they might not fall into 
contention about it. For if the Apostles themselves once did this, much more might those. 
This he ever avoids. Wherefore at the beginning he said, “Men and brethren. It behooves” 
to choose from among you. 65 He defers the decision to the whole body, thereby both making 
the elected objects of reverence and himself keeping clear of all invidiousness with regard 
to the rest. For such occasions always give rise to great evils. Now that some one must needs 
be appointed, he adduces the prophet as witness: but from among what persons: “Of these,” 
he says, “which have companied with us all the time.” T o have said, the worthy must present 
themselves, would have been to insult the others; but now he refers the matter to length of 
time; for he says not simply, “These who have companied with us,” but, “all the time that 
the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John unto that 
same day that He was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of 
His resurrection” (v. 22): that their college (6 xopoc;) might not be left mutilated. Then why 
did it not rest with Peter to make the election himself: what was the motive? This; that he 
might not seem to bestow it of favor. And besides, he was not yet endowed with the spirit. 
“And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabus, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.” 
(v. 23.) Not he appointed them: but it was he that introduced the proposition to that effect, 
at the same time pointing out that even this was not his own, but from old time by prophecy; 
so that he acted as expositor, not as preceptor. “Joseph called Barsabus, who was surnamed 
Justus.” Perhaps both names are given, because there were others of the same name, for 


64 Here also Chrys. seems to be imperfectly reported. His meaning may be gathered from what is said further 
on, in the recapitulation: i.e. in giving the field that name, “because it was the price of blood” (Matt, xxvii. 8), 
they unconsciously prophesied; for indeed the reward of their iniquity was this, that their place became an 
Aceldama. 

65 So A. B. C. and the Catena. The other text has f|pu>v, which is less apposite. 


43 


Homily III on Acts i. 12. 


among the Apostles also there were several names alike; as James, and James (the son) of 
Alphaeus; Simon Peter, and Simon Zelotes; Judas (the brother) of James, and Judas Iscariot. 
The appellation, however, may have arisen from a change of life, and very likely also of the 
moral character. 66 “They appointed two,” it is said, “Joseph called Barsabus, who was sur- 
named Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said; Thou, Lord, which knowest the 
hearts of all men, show whether of these two thou hast chosen, that he may take part of this 
ministry and Apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his 
own place.” (v. 24, 25.) They do well to mention the sin of Judas, thereby showing that it is 
a witness they ask to have; not increasing the number, but not suffering it to be diminished. 
“And they gave forth their lots” (for the spirit was not yet sent), “and the lot fell upon Mat- 
thias: and he was numbered with the eleven Apostles.” (v. 26.) 

“Then,” it says, “returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet (Recapitu- 

rn 

lation), [“which is nigh to Jerusalem, at the distance of a sabbath-day’s journey:”] so that 
there was no long way to go, to be a cause of alarm to them while yet trembling and fearful. 
“And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room.” They durst not appear 
in the town. They also did well to go up into an upper room, as it became less easy to arrest 
them at once. “And they continued,” it is said, “with one accord in prayer.” Do you see how 
watchful they were? “Continuing in prayer,” and “with one accord,” as it were with one soul, 

co 

continuing therein: two things reported in their praise. [“Where they were abiding,” etc., 
to, “And Mary the Mother of Jesus and His brethren.”] Now Joseph perhaps was dead: for 
it is not to be supposed that when the brethren had become believers, Joseph believed not; 
he who in fact had believed before any. Certain it is that we nowhere find him looking upon 
Christ as man merely. As where His mother said, [“Thy father and I did seek thee sorrowing.” 
(Luke ii. 48.) And upon another occasion, it was said,] “Thy mother 69 and thy brethren seek 

66 ’'AAAcoc; Se Kod p£ta|3oAqc; (3iou, lowq Se Kai TtpoaipEOEux; qv q ovopaaia. i.e. St. Luke gives both the names 
Joseph (or Joses) and Justus, perhaps for the sake of distinction. The name (as Latin) may have been given in 
consequence of a change of life (viz. of circumstances), and (as meaning ‘the Just’) perhaps also from a change 
of character (Ttpooupeau;.) — Or, Tipoaipeau; (]3iou) may be opposed to p£Ta(3oAq |3tou and then the meaning 
would be, that the name may have related to a change, i.e. reformation of life, or perhaps to his original choice 
or moral purpose of life. But i'awp Se Kai seems best to suit the former explanation. 

67 This clause of the text is added, though wanting in our mss. The comment is, wore pqSe: patcpav (3a5Rouaiv 
65ov cpo(3ov nva yeveaSat rpepouatv eti Kai SeSoikooiv autoR: i.e. “so that not being a long way for them 
walking, it was not, etc.,” which construction being somewhat obscure, the modern text has, rouro cpqoiv, iva 
SeI^jj on paKpav ou (3a5Rouoiv o5ov, coq <po|3ov nva pq Y £v£CJ 0 ai rpepouaiv ’in Kai SeSoikooiv autolq. 

68 Here again, as usual, in the renewed exposition, the text is omitted. 

69 'H pqrqp oou Kai oi aSeAxpoi aou EtJqroupEv oe. A. C. 6 Jtanjp aou k. t. X. B. For Eijqr. we must read 
^qrouotv. The passage referred to is Matt. xiii. 47, where however it is not Mary that speaks, but “A certain 
person said unto Him, Behold, Thy mother and Thy brethren stand without seeking to speak with Thee.” In the 

44 


Homily III on Acts i. 12. 


thee.” (Matt. xiii. 47.) So that Joseph knew this before all others. And to them [the brethren] 
Christ said, “The world cannot hate you, but Me it hateth. (John vii. 7.) 

Again, consider the moderation of James. He it was who received the Bishopric of Jeru- 
salem, and here he says nothing. Mark also the great moderation of the other Apostles, how 
they concede the throne to him, and no longer dispute with each other. For that Church 
was as it were in heaven: having nothing to do with this world’s affairs: and resplendent not 
with wails, no, nor with numbers, but with the zeal of them that formed the assembly. They 
were “about an hundred and twenty,” it says. The seventy perhaps whom Christ Himself 
had chosen, and other of the more earnest-minded disciples, as Joseph and Matthias, (v. 
14.) There were women, he says, many, who followed Him. (Markxv. 41.) [“The number 
of the names together.] Together they were on all occasions. 

[“Men and brethren,” etc.] Here is forethought for providing a teacher; here was the 
first who ordained a teacher. He did not say, ‘We are sufficient.’ So far was he beyond all 
vain-glory, and he looked to one thing alone. And yet he had the same power to ordain as 
they all collectively. But well might these things be done in this fashion, through the noble 
spirit of the man, and because prelacy then was not an affair of dignity, but of provident 
care for the governed. This neither made the elected to become elated, for it was to dangers 
that they were called, nor those not elected to make a grievance of it, as if they were disgraced. 


Homily on that passage, Chrys. interprets that Mary presented herself on that occasion ou5ev ouSetuo Ttepi 
aurou peya <pavrai[opevr|, “having as yet no high idea of His Person,” and that both she and His brethren, die; 
dvBpdmcp Tipoaeixov i|nA.a> “looked upon Him as mere man.” In the same way he adverts to that incident here, 
for contrast with the higher faith of Joseph; but as the statement, “His mother said,” is not accurate, the modern 
text substitutes the passage, Luke ii. 48, and reads, r| pfjrpp eAeyev, ’Eyd> real 6 Ttarrjp aou oSuviopcvot eipyroOpev 
ae. It seems that Chrys. cited this passage also (hence our mss. have eipycoupcv for ^prouat), meaning, that it 
was not Joseph who said this, but Mary. — CEcumenius, however, gives a different turn to this passage of St. 
Chrys. “And if Joseph had been alive, he too would have been present; especially as he never, like his sons (oi H, 
aurou viz. the dSeXcpoi), entertained a doubt of the mystery of the Incarnation. But it is manifest that he was 
long dead; since even on the occasion when, as Jesus was teaching, His kinsfolk demanded to see Him, Joseph 
was not present. For what says the Gospel? “Thy mother and thy brethren without seek thee;” but not also, Thy 
father. 

70 ’Em to auro: a comment on v. 15. 

71 Kairotye Iootutiov atiaatv elye rtjv Karaaraatv, which Erasm. justly renders, Quanquam habebat jus 
constituendi por omnibus: i.e. the ordination by St. Peter singly, would have been as valid as the ordination by 
the whole body. D. F. have Kalrot ou5e, i.e. and yet he possessed a power of ordaining, in which they were not 
all upon a par with him: which reading is accepted by Morel. Sav. and Ben., and is rendered by the last, Quanquam 
non pari forma apud omnes ejus vigebat auctoritas. This reading originated in a mistake as to the meaning of 
the other, as if that asserted only that St. Peter had the same power of ordaining as any of the rest. 


45 


Homily III on Acts i. 12. 


But things are not done in this fashion now; nay, quite the contrary. — For observe, they 
were an hundred and twenty, and he asks for one out of the whole body: with good right, 
as having been put in charge of them: for to him had Christ said, “And when thou art con- 
verted, strengthen thy brethren.” (Luke xxii. 32, Ben.) 

“For he was numbered with us,” (npcorot; rou npccyparoc; auGevrsi absent from A.B.C 
) says Peter. On this account it behooves to propose another; to be a witness in his place. 
And see how he imitates his Master, ever discoursing from the Scriptures, and saying 
nothing as yet concerning Christ; namely, that He had frequently predicted this Himself. 
Nor does he mention where the Scripture speaks of the treachery of Judas; for instance, 
“The mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me” (Ps. cix. 
1.); but where it speaks only of his punishment; for this was most to their advantage. It shows 
again the benevolence of the Lord: “For he was numbered with us” (rouro yap auroup 
paAiara nxpeAsr Aeikvuoi naAiv A.B.C ), he says, “and obtained his lot of this ministry.” 
He calls it everywhere “lot,” showing that the whole is from God’s grace and election, and 
reminding them of the old times, inasmuch as God chose him into His own lot or portion, 
as of old He took the Levites. He also dwells upon the circumstances respecting Judas, 
showing that the reward of the treachery was made itself the herald of the punishment. For 
he “acquired,” he says, “a field out of the reward of the iniquity.” Observe the divine economy 
in the event. “Of the iniquity,” he says. For there are many iniquities, but never was anything 
more iniquitous than this: so that the affair was one of iniquity. Now not only to those who 
were present did the event become known, but to all thereafter, so that without meaning or 
knowing what they were about, they gave it a name; just as Caiaphas had prophesied uncon- 
sciously. God compelled them to call the field in Hebrew “Aceldama.” (Matt. xxvi. 24.) By 
this also the evils which were to come upon the Jews were declared: and Peter shows the 
prophecy to have been so far in part fulfilled, which says, “It had been good for that man if 
he had not been born.” We may with propriety apply this same to the Jews likewise; for if 
he who was guide suffered thus, much more they. Thus far however Peter says nothing of 
this. Then, showing that the term, “Aceldama,” might well be applied to his fate, he introduces 
the prophet, saying, “Let his habitation be desolate.” For what can be worse desolation than 
to become a place of burial? And the field may well be called his. For he who cast down the 
price, although others were the buyers, has a right to be himself reckoned owner of a great 
desolation. “ This desolation was the prelude to that of the Jews, as will appear on looking 
closely into the facts. For indeed they destroyed themselves by famine, and killed many, and 


72 Kupioc epripwoeox; peydAric. Something perhaps is wanting between Klip, and ep. p. Indeed the text seems 
to consist of little more than a few rough notes. 


46 


Homily III on Acts i. 12. 


I'l 

the city became a burial-place of strangers, of soldiers, for as to those, they would not even 
have let them be buried, for in fact they were not deemed worthy of sepulture. 

“Wherefore of these men which have companied with us,” continues Peter. Observe 
how desirous he is they should be eye-witnesses. It is true indeed that the Spirit would shortly 
come; and yet great care is shown with regard to this circumstance. “Of these men,” he says, 
“which have companied with us, all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us.” 
He shows that they had dwelt with Christ, not simply been present as disciples. In fact, from 
the very beginning there were many that then followed Him. Observe, for instance, how 
this appears in these words: “One of the two which heard John speak, and followed Jesus. — All 
the time,” he says, “that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism 
of John.” (John i. 40.) True! for no one knew what preceded that event, though they did 
learn it by the Spirit. “Unto that same day that He was taken up from us, must one be or- 
dained to be a witness with us of His resurrection.” 74 He said not, a witness of the rest of 
his actions, but a witness of the resurrection alone. For indeed that witness had a better right 
to be believed, who was able to declare, that He Who ate and drank, and was crucified, the 
same rose again. Wherefore it was needed that he should be a witness, not only of the time 
preceding this event, nor only of what followed it, and of the miracles; the thing required 
was, the resurrection. For the other matters were manifest and acknowledged, but the resur- 
rection took place in secret, and was manifest to these only. And they do not say, Angels 

nr 

have told us; but, We have seen. For this it was that was most needful at that time: that 
they should be men having a right to be believed, because they had seen. 


73 Tckpoq yeyovev f| ttoAk; twv ^evwv, x u>v arparitorcov. In the defective state of the text it is not easy to 
conjecture what this can mean. Perhaps, alluding to the words in St. Matthew, “a place to bury strangers in.” St. 
Chrys. may have explained, that the strangers were not heathen (sKetvouc; yap ou5’ av e’taaav racpfjvat, they 
would not have allowed such to be buried in or by the Holy City, much less have provided a place of burial for 
them), but foreign Jews: and if in rdcpoq yeyovev r| ttoAk; he alludes to the description in Josephus, B. J. v. 12. 3. 
and 13. 7. this explanation of the term “strangers” would be the more apposite, as the myriads who perished in 
the siege were assembled from all parts of the world. The ‘soldiers’ seem to be the mercenaries on the side of 
the Jews: five thousand Idumaeans are mentioned, B. J. v. 6. 1. 

74 The requirement for the apostolic office is here clearly indicated. The candidate must have associated with 
Christ and his apostles during the period from John’s baptism to the Lord’s ascension, i.e. during His public 
ministry. The character of the apostolate is also significantly implied in the term paptut; rrjt; avaardaewi; autoO. 
The resurrection was the great central theme of apostolic teaching and preaching (vid. Acts iv. 2, 33; xvii. 18, 
32).— G.B.S. 

75 Here the Edd. have f|p£l<y tto0£v SrjAov; wv Sauparoupyoupev. “ourselves: how is this proved? by the 
miracles we work.” C. has not these words, which are not needed, but rather disturb the sense. 


47 


Homily III on Acts i. 12. 


If. 

“And they appointed two,” it is said. Why not many? That the feeling of disappoint- 

nn 

ment might not reach further, extending to many. Again, it is not without reason that he 
puts Matthias last; he would show, that frequently he that is honourable among men, is in- 
ferior before God. And they all pray in common saying, “Thou, Lord, which knowest the 
hearts of all men, show. Thou,” not “We.” And very seasonably they use the epithet, “heart- 

no 

knowing:” for by Him Who is this must the choice be made. So confident were they, that 
assuredly one of them must be appointed. They said not, Choose, but, “Show the chosen 
one;” knowing that all things were foreordained of God; “Whom Thou didst choose: one 
of these two,” say they, “to have his lot in this ministry and apostleship.” For there was besides 
another ministry (SiotKovJa). “And they gave them their lots.” For they did not yet consider 
themselves to be worthy to be informed by some sign. And besides, if in a case where 
neither prayer was made, nor men of worth were the agents, the casting of lots so much 
availed, because it was done of a right intention, I mean in the case of Jonah (Jonah i. 7); 

on 

much more did it here. Thus, did he, the designated, fill up the company, complete the 
order: but the other candidate was not annoyed; for the apostolic writers would not have 
concealed [that or any other] failings of their own, seeing they have told of the very chief 
Apostles, that on other occasions they had indignation (Matt. xx. 24; Matt. xxvi. 8), and this 
not once only, but again and again. 

Let us then also imitate them. And now I address no longer every one, but those who 
aim at preferment. If thou believest that the election is with God, be not displeased. (Mark 
x. 14, 21; xiv. 4.) For it is with Him thou art displeased, and with Him thou art exasperated: 
it is He who has made the choice; thou doest the very thing that Cain did; because, forsooth, 
his brother’s sacrifice was preferred, he was indignant, when he ought to have felt compunc- 
tion. However, that is not what I mean here; but this, that God knows how to dispense things 
for the best. In many cases, thou art in point of disposition more estimable than the other 


76 The words of the text (v. 23) Kai £atr|aav 5uo are better rendered “put forward” (Rev. Vs.) than “appointed.” 
(A.Y.) The meaning is that the company chose two persons as candidates, leaving the decision between them 
to the lot. — G.B.S. 

77 Oux ontAcoq be itpoarlSriaiv ekeTvov, D. and E. have oux cmXCoq be ou Ttporl0r|aiv ekeTvov, according to 
which the sense would be the same: “Not without reason does he avoid putting Matthias first.” 

78 Here the Edd. add, ouxi twv £^w0£V, “not by those without:” but these words are not found in our mss. 
of either text, nor in the Catena. 

79 So, except E. all our mss. and the Catena: and Morel. Ben. But Sav. and Par. “they did not yet think themselves 
worthy to make the election by themselves: wherefore they desire to be informed by some sign.” An unnecessary 
alteration; for the sign means some miraculous token. So CEcumen. 

80 Mss. and Edd. TtoAAw pfiAAov evrau0a £TtA.fjpwa£ rov xopov, ditfjpTiaE rr[v ra^tv. The Catena adds 6 
ava5£X0ei<; (dva5eix0£i<;), which we have adopted. 


48 


Homily III on Acts i. 12. 


but not the fit person. Besides, on the other hand, thy life is irreproachable, and thy habits 
those of a well-nurtured man, but in the Church this is not all that is wanted. Moreover, 
one man is adapted for one thing, another for another. Do you not observe, how much 
discourse the holy Scripture has made on this matter? But let me say why it is that the thing 
has become a subject of competition: it is because we come to the Episcopate not as unto a 
work of governing and superintending the brethren, but as to a post of dignity and repose. 
Did you but know that a Bishop is bound to belong to all, to bear the burden of all; that 
others, if they are angry, are pardoned, but he never; that others, if they sin, have excuses 
made for them, he has none; you would not be eager for the dignity, would not run after it. 
So it is, the Bishop is exposed to the tongues of all, to the criticism of all, whether they be 
wise or fools. He is harassed with cares every day, nay, every night. He has many to hate 
him, many to envy him. Talk not to me of those who curry favor with all, of those who desire 
to sleep, of those who advance to this office as for repose. We have nothing to do with these; 
we speak of those who watch for your souls, who consider the safety and welfare of those 
under them before their own. Tell me now: suppose a man has ten children, always living 
with him, and constantly under his control; yet is he solicitous about them; and a bishop, 
who has such numbers, not living under the same roof with him, but owing obedience to 
his authority — what does he not need to be! But he is honored, you will say. With what sort 
of honor, indeed! Why, the paupers and beggars abuse him openly in the market-place. And 

o 1 

why does he not stop their mouths then? Yes, very proper work, this, for a bishop, is it not? 
Then again, if he do not give to all, the idle and the industrious alike, lo! a thousand com- 
plaints on all sides. None is afraid to accuse him, and speak evil of him. In the case of civil 
governors, fear steps in; with bishops, nothing of the kind. As for the fear of God, it does 
not influence people, as regards them, in the least degree. Why speak of the anxiety connected 
with the word and doctrine? the painful work in Ordinations? Either, perhaps, I am a poor 
wretched incompetent creature, or else, the case is as I say. The soul of a Bishop is for all 
the world like a vessel in a storm: lashed from every side, by friends, by foes, by one’s own 
people, by strangers. Does not the Emperor rule the whole world, the Bishop a single city? 
Yet a Bishop’s anxieties are as much beyond those of the emperor, as the waters of a river 
simply moved, by the wind are surpassed in agitation by the swelling and raging sea. And 
why? because in the one case there are many to lend a hand, for all goes on by law and by 
rule; but in the other there is none of this, nor is there authority to command; but if one be 
greatly moved, then he is harsh; if the contrary, then he is cold! And in him these opposites 
must meet, that he may neither be despised, nor be hated. Besides, the very demands of 
business preoccupy him: how many is he obliged to offend, whether he will or not! How 


81 Edd. ndvu ye. Ou yap eiuaKOJtou Xeyexi; epyov. Read ndvu ye (ou yap;) eiuavc. Xey. epyov. 


49 



Homily III on Acts i. 12. 


many to be severe with! I speak not otherwise than it is, but as I find it in my own actual 
experience. I do not think there are many among Bishops that will be saved, but many more 
that perish: and the reason is, that it is an affair that requires a great mind. Many are the 
exigencies which throw a man out of his natural temper; and he had need have a thousand 
eyes on all sides. Do you not see what a number of qualifications the Bishop must have? to 
be apt to teach, patient, holding fast the faithful word in doctrine (see 1 Tim. iii. 2-9; Tit. i. 
7-9). What trouble and pains does this require! And then, others do wrong, and he bears 
all the blame. To pass over every thing else: if one soul depart unbaptized, does not this 
subvert all his own prospect of salvation? The loss of one soul carries with it a penalty which 
no language can represent. For if the salvation of that soul was of such value, that the Son 
of God became man, and suffered so much, think how sore a punishment must the losing 
of it bring! And if in this present life he who is cause of another’s destruction is worthy of 
death, much more in the next world. Do not tell me, that the presbyter is in fault, or the 
deacon. The guilt of all these comes perforce upon the head of those who ordained them. 
Let me mention another instance. It chances, that a bishop has inherited from his predecessor 
a set of persons of indifferent character. 82 What measures is it proper to take in respect of 
bygone transgressions (for here are two precipices) so as not to let the offender go unpun- 
ished, and not to cause scandal to the rest? Must one’s first step be to cut him off? There is 
no actual present ground for that. But is it right to let him go unmarked? Yes, say you; for 
the fault rests with the bishop who ordained him. Well then? must one refuse to ordain him 
again, and to raise him to a higher degree of the ministry? That would be to publish it to all 
men, that he is a person of indifferent character, and so again one would cause scandal in 
a different way. But is one to promote him to a higher degree? That is much worse. 

If then there were only the responsibility of the office itself for people to run after in the 
episcopate, none would be so quick to accept it. But as things go, we run after this, just as 
we do after the dignities of the world. That we may have glory with men, we lose ourselves 
with God. What profit in such honor? How self-evident its nothingness is! When you covet 
the episcopal rank, put in the other scale, the account to be rendered after this life. Weigh 


82 £up(3alvei riva KArjpov 5ia5e^aa0ai avSptov poxOqptov. The expression below, on pox0qp6<; nq eon 
shows that the av5. pox©., ‘ill-conditioned men,’ are clerks. The offences meant seem to have been before ordin- 
ation: and the difficulty is, How to deal with a clerk who ought not to have been ordained at all? You cannot cut 
him off from the order of clergy, there being no present actual delinquency to justify such a step. Then suppose 
you do not call him to account for the past, on the ground that the bishop who ordained him must be answerable: 
what are you to do, when this man should in the regular course be advanced to a higher order of the ministry? 
To refuse to ordain him, would be to publish his unworthiness, and call attention to the scandal of his having 
been ordained in the first instance: to advance him, would be even worse. 

83 Here the Edd. add avriarqaov rf|v yeevvav, “put in the other balance — hell:” which, however, is not found 
in any of our mss. 


50 


Homily III on Acts i. 12. 


against it, the happiness of a life free from toil, take into account the different measure of 
the punishment. I mean, that even if you have sinned, but in your own person merely, you 
will have no such great punishment, nothing like it: but if you have sinned as bishop, you 
are lost. Remember what Moses endured, what wisdom he displayed, what good deeds he 
exhibited: but, for committing one sin only, he was bitterly punished; and with good 
reason; for this fault was attended with injury to the rest. Not in regard that the sin was 
public, but because it was the sin of a spiritual Ruler (fepswc;) cf. S.); for in truth we do not 
pay the same penalty for public and for hidden faults. (Aug in Ps. xcix. 6.) The sin may be 
the same, but not the (^ppia) harm of it; nay, not the sin itself; for it is not the same thing 
to sin in secret and unseen, and to sin openly. But the bishop cannot sin unobserved. Well 
for him if he escape reproach, though he sin not; much less can he think to escape notice, 
if he do sin. Let him be angry, let him laugh, or let him but dream of a moment’s relaxation, 
many are they that scoff, many that are offended, many that lay down the law, many that 
bring to mind the former bishops, and abuse the present one; not that they wish to sound 
the praise of those; no, it is only to carp at him that they bring up the mention of fellow- 

or 

bishops, of presbyters. Sweet, says the proverb, is war to the inexperienced; but it may 
rather be said now, that even after one has come out of it, people in general have seen 
nothing of it: for in their eyes it is not war, but like those shepherds in Ezekiel, we slay and 
devour. (Ezek. xxxiv. 2.) Which of us has it in his power to show that he has taken as much 
care for the flocks of Christ, as Jacob did for Laban’s? (Gen. xxxi. 40.) Which of us can tell 
of the frost of the night? For talk not to me of vigils, and all that parade. The contrary 


84 tva ev apaprri apaprr|pa povov, EKoAdijero TtiKpcbi;. On this peculiar construction, see Field, Adnotat, in 
Horn, in Matt. p. 404. E. — In the next sentence St. Chrys. in applying the term lepeuc; to Moses, does not mean 
that Moses was a Priest, but that he held a station similar in some regards to that of Bishops afterwards. Aaron 
was properly the High Priest, but Moses was a type of Christian Bishops, considered as Chief Pastors and Rulers. 

85 MfiAAov 5 e vuv ou5e pEta to EKfSrjvai SfjAoq zoic; TtoAAoR- ou yap eoriv auroR itoAipoc & 135'AAa Kara 
rout; TtofpEvac; ekevvouc;, k. t. X. Perhaps Chrys. is not fully reported here. The meaning seems to be: “The proverb, 
yAvKuc 6 TtoAEpoi; dcTtEtpou;, may well be applied here; it is a fine thing to be a bishop, to those who have not 
tried it. Little do people think what this war is, before they have entered into it. But in our times, not only itpo 
tou £p(3fjvat, but even pera to £K(3rjvai, after a good bishop has gone through with it, the generality of people 
do not see that there has been any war in the case. We bishops, in their view, are like Ezekiel’s shepherds. And 
no marvel, for many among us are such.” The author of the modern text has given a different turn to the sentiment. 
Here it is: “The same may well be said in the present case; or rather, we do say it before we have entered into 
the contest; but after we have embarked in it, we become not even visible to the generality. For to us now there 
is no war, against those who oppress the poor, nor do we endure to battle in defence of the flock; but like those 
shepherds, etc.” 

86 Vigils were celebrated in C.’s time with much pomp. A grand ceremonial of this kind was held in the first 
year of his episcopate, at the translation of the relics. 


51 


Homily III on Acts i. 12. 


plainly is the fact. Prefects, and governors (uTtapxoi real roTiapxai) of provinces, do not enjoy 
such honour as he that governs the Church. If he enter the palace, who but he is first? If he 
go to see ladies, or visit the houses of the great, none is preferred to him. The whole state of 
things is ruined and corrupt. I do not speak thus as wishing to put us bishops to shame, but 

on 

to repress your hankering after the office. For with what conscience, (even should you 
succeed in becoming a bishop, having made interest for it either in person or by another), 
with what eyes will you look the man in the face who worked with you to that end? What 
will you have to plead for your excuse? For he that unwillingly, by compulsion and not with 
his own consent, was raised to the office, may have something to say for himself, though 

OO 

for the most part even such an one has no pardon to expect, and yet truly he so far has 
something to plead in excuse. Think how it fared with Simon Magus. What signifies it that 
you give not money, if, in place of money, you pay court, you lay many plans, you set engines 
to work? “Thy money perish with thee!” (Acts viii. 20.) Thus was it said to him, and thus 
will it be said to these: your canvassing perish with you, because you have thought to purchase 
the gift of God by human intrigue! But there is none such here? And God forbid there should 
be! For it is not that I wish any thing of what I have been saying to be applicable to you: but 
just now the connexion has led us on to these topics. In like manner when we talk against 
covetousness, we are not preaching at you, no, nor against any one man personally. God 
grant it may be the case, that these remedies were prepared by us without necessity. The 
wish of the physician is, that after all his pains, his drugs may be thrown away because not 
wanted: and this is just what we desire, that our words may not have been needed, and so 
have been spoken to the wind, so as to be but words. I am ready to submit to anything, 
rather than be reduced to the necessity of using this language. But if you like, we are ready 
to leave off; only let our silence be without bad effects. No one, I imagine, though he were 
ever so vainglorious, would wish to make a display of severity, when there is nothing to call 

QQ 

for it. I will leave the teaching to you: for that is the best teaching, which teaches by actions. 
For indeed the best physicians, although the sickness of their patients brings them in fees, 
would rather their friends were well. And so we too wish all to be well. (2 Cor. xiii. 7.) It is 
not that we desire to be approved, and you reproved. I would gladly manifest, if it were 
possible, with my very eyes, the love which I bear to you: for then no one would be able to 


87 noi& 251’ yap auveiSori av (1. Kav) y£vr| aTtouSaaat; rj, k. r. X. The meaning is strangely mistaken by the 
Lat. transl. Erasm. has, Quem enim conscium adibis si vel, etc. Ben. Quo uteris conscio si ambias vel, etc. The 
tolou; ocpBaApou; following might have shown the meaning, not to mention the ungrammatical rendering of 
av y£vr| attouSaaac;. 

88 See de Sacerdot, lib. iv. in the opening, where this question is considered at length. 

89 napaxwpqaw rfjq 5i5aaKaAf aq ipiv: I will cede the teaching to you; let it be yours to teach by your actions, 
which is the more potent teaching. 


52 


Homily III on Acts i. 12. 


reproach me, though my language were ever so rough. “For speech of friends, yea, were it 
insult, can be borne;” 90 more “faithful are the wounds of a friend, rather than the ready 
kisses of an enemy. (Prov. xxvii. 6.) There nothing I love more than you, no, not even light 
itself. I would gladly have my eyes put out ten thousand times over, if it were possible by 
this means to convert your souls; so much is your salvation dearer to me than light itself. 
For what profit to me in the rays of the sun, when despondency on your account makes it 
all thick darkness before my eyes? Light is good when it shines in cheerfulness, to a sorrowful 
heart it seems even to be a trouble. How true this is, may you never learn by experience! 
However, if it happen to any of you to fall into sin, just stand by my bedside, when I am laid 
down to rest and should be asleep; see 91 whether I am not like a palsied man, like one beside 
himself, and, in the language of the prophet, “the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me. 
(Ps. xxxviii. 10.) For where is our hope, if you do not make progress? where our despondency, 
if you do excellently? I seem to have wings, when I hear any thing good of you. “Fulfil ye 
my joy.” (Phil. ii. 2.) This one thing is the burden of my prayers, that I long for your advance- 
ment. But that in which I strive with all is this, that I love you, that I am wrapped up in you, 
that you are my all, father, mother, brethren, children. Think not then that any thing that 
has been said was said in a hostile spirit, nay, it is for your amendment. It is written “A 
brother assisted by his brother is as a strong city.” (Prov. xviii. 19.) Then do not take it in 
disdain: for neither do I undervalue what you have to say. I should wish even to be set right 
by you. For all (Edd. ‘all we’) ye are brethren, and One is our Master: yet even among 
brothers it is for one to direct, while the others obey. Then disdain it not, but let us do all 
to the glory of God, for to Him belongs glory for ever and ever. Amen. 


90 Ta yap ttapa cpiArov XeyopEva, Kav u(3pu; fi, <popr|rd. Apparently a quotation. 

91 Edd. (XTiuAnlpqv el pf|: “May I perish if, etc.” but none of our mss. have this word. 


53 


Homily IV on Acts ii. 1, 2 . 


Homily IV. 

Acts II. 1, 2 

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven.” 

Dost thou perceive the type? What is this Pentecost? The time when the sickle was to 
be put to the harvest, and the ingathering was made. See now the reality, when the time was 
come to put in the sickle of the word: for here, as the sickle, keen-edged, came the Spirit 
down. For hear the words of Christ: “Lift up your eyes,” He said, “and look on the fields, 
for they are white already to harvest.” (John iv. 35.) And again, “The harvest truly is great, 
but the laborers are few.” (Matt. ix. 38.) But as the first-fruits of this harvest, He himself 
took [our nature], and bore it up on high. Himself first put in the sickle. Therefore also 
He calls the Word the Seed. “When,” it says, “the day of Pentecost was fully come” (Luke 

no 

viii. 5, 11): that is, when at the Pentecost, while about it, in short. For it was essential that 
the present events likewise should take place during the feast, that those who had witnessed 
the crucifixion of Christ, might also behold these. “And suddenly there came a sound from 
heaven.” (v. 2.) Why did this not come to pass without sensible tokens? For this reason. If 
even when the fact was such, men said, “They are full of new wine,” what would they not 
have said, had it been otherwise? And it is not merely, “there came a sound,” but, “from 
heaven.” And the suddenness also startled them, and 94 brought all together to the spot. “As 
of a rushing mighty wind:” this betokens the exceeding vehemence of the Spirit. “And it 
filled all the house:” insomuch that those present both believed, and (Edd. rourouc;) in this 
manner were shown to be worthy. Nor is this all; but what is more awful still, “And there 
appeared unto them,” it says, “cloven tongues like as of fire.” (v. 3.) Observe how it is always, 
“like as;” and rightly: that you may have no gross sensible notions of the Spirit. Also, “as it 
were of a blast:” therefore it was not a wind. “Like as of fire.” For when the Spirit was to be 
made known to John, then it came upon the head of Christ as in the form of a dove: but 


92 i.e. in reference to the harvest. The modern text has, “therefore He calls this the harvest:” missing the author’s 
meaning, i.e. the allusion to the parable of the sower. 

93 roureart, Ttpoc; rfj nevrriKoarfi itepi aurrjv cbq eiitelv npoq, as in the phrase, eivat v. yiveaSat Ttpoc; rivi. 
Horn, in Matt. 289. B. Field, not. and similarly itepi as in eivat Ttepl ri. Only CEcumen. has preserved the true 
reading, in his comment Ttpoc; rrj it.; Ttepl aurriv r]5r| rf|v eoprrjv. A. B. C. read, itpo rfj<; Ttevrr|Koarfj<; itepi aurriv 
wc; eiitelv: so Cat. but with itepi for itpo. The others, ou itpo rrjc; it., aXXa itepi aurriv, toe; eiitelv. 

94 In the mss. and Edd. the order of the following sentences is confused. It is here restored by bringing the 
clause, Kai itavrac; etteT auvifyayev into what appears to be its proper connection, and supplying the text to the 
comment TtoAAf|v rf|v pupiyv Aeyet rou Ilveuparoc;. 


54 


Homily IV on Acts ii. 1, 2 . 


now, when a whole multitude was to be converted, it is “like as of fire. And it sat upon each 
of them.” This means, that it remained and rested upon them.” For the sitting is significant 
of settledness and continuance. 

Was it upon the twelve that it came? Not so; but upon the hundred and twenty. For 
Peter would not have quoted to no purpose the testimony of the prophet, saying, “And it 
shall come to pass in the last days, saith the Lord God, I will pour out of My spirit upon all 
flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, 
and your old men shall dream dreams.” (Joel ii. 28.) “And they were all filled with the Holy 
Ghost.” (v. 4.) For, that the effect may not be to frighten only, therefore is it both “with the 
Holy Ghost, and with fire. And began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them 
utterance.” (Matt. iii. 11.) They receive no other sign, but this first; for it was new to them, 
and there was no need of any other sign. “And it sat upon each of them,” says the writer. 
Observe now, how there is no longer any occasion for that person to grieve, who was not 
elected as was Matthias, “And they were all filled,” he says; not merely received the grace of 
the Spirit, but “were filled. And began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them 
utterance.” It would not have been said, All, the Apostles also being there present, unless 
the rest also were partakers. For were it not so, having above made mention of the Apostles 
distinctively and by name, he would not now have put them all in one with the rest. For if, 
where it was only to be mentioned that they were present, he makes mention of the Apostles 
apart, much more would he have done so in the case here supposed. 95 Observe, how when 
one is continuing in prayer, when one is in charity, then it is that the Spirit draws near. It 
put them in mind also of another vision: for as fire did He appear also in the bush. “As the 
Spirit gave them utterance, ditocpGsyysoGai (Exod. iii. 2.) For the things spoken by them 
were caiocpGeypara, profound utterances. “And,” it says, “there were dwelling at Jerusalem 
Jews, devout men.” (v. 5.) The fact of their dwelling there was a sign of piety: that being of 
so many nations they should have left country, and home, and relations, and be abiding 
there. For, it says, “There were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation 
under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were 
confounded, (v. 6.) Since the event had taken place in a house, of course they came together 
from without. The multitude was confounded: was all in commotion. They marvelled; “Be- 
cause that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were amazed,” it 
says, “and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans?” 
(v. 7-13.) They immediately turned their eyes towards the Apostles. “And how” (it follows) 


95 i.e. if the gift descended only upon the Twelve, there would have been specific and distinctive mention of 
them in this narrative, as there was in the former chapter; and with much more reason here than there. The 
writer would not have said merely, They were all together: it sat upon each one of them: they were all filled: if 
he had meant that the Spirit came only upon the Apostles. 


55 


Homily IV on Acts ii. 1, 2 . 


“hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and 
Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and 
Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene:” mark how 
they run from east to west: 96 “and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Ara- 
bians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And, they were 
all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking 
said, These men are full of new wine.” O the excessive folly! O the excessive malignity! Why 
it was not even the season for that; for it was Pentecost. For this was what made it worse: 
that when those were confessing — men that were Jews, that were Romans, that were pros- 
elytes, yea perhaps that had crucified Him — yet these, after so great signs, say, “They are 
full of new wine!” 

But let us look over what has been said from the beginning. (Recapitulation.) “And 
when the day of Pentecost,” etc. “It filled,” he says, “the house.” That wind 7tvor| was a very 
pool of water. This betokened the copiousness, as the fire did the vehemence. This nowhere 
happened in the case of the Prophets: for to uninebriated souls such accesses are not attended 
with much disturbance; but “when they have well drunken,” then indeed it is as here, but 
with the Prophets it is otherwise. (Ez. iii. 3.) The roll of a book is given him, and Ezekiel 
ate what he was about to utter. “And it became in his mouth,” it is said, “as honey for 
sweetness.” (And 99 again the hand of God touches the tongue of another Prophet; but here 

96 i.e. Mark how the enumeration, “Parthians, and Medes,” etc., goes from east to west. This comment having 
been transposed to the end of v. 12, was misunderstood: and E. has instead of it, “Do you see how it was, that, 
as if they had wings, they sped their way through the whole world?” 

97 Ta yap roiaOra vr|<pouawv pev tjiuxwv TtpoaTtlitrovra, ou ttoAu* e'xa rov 0opu(3ov orav 5e p£0uatoaiv 
rote pev ovzoq, roR itpocprj* ran; 5e erepax;. In the modern text, which here also is followed by Erasm. and 
Edd. it is, aXXa rote pev ourux; ekevvou;, roR itpocpprau; 5e erepux;. “But here indeed it is on this wise with 
them (the disciples), but with the Prophets otherwise.” — The expression “uninebriated” relates to the Old 
Testament: no such fire there, no mighty rushing wind, no vehement commotion: this comes of “the new wine” 
of the Spirit; orav p£0uatoaiv, with allusion to John ii. 10. 

98 So de Sancta Pentecoste, Horn. i. t. ii. 465. “Why does Ezekiel receive the gift of prophecy not by the likeness 
of fire, but by a book, while the Apostles receive the gifts by fire? For concerning him we read, that one gave 
him in his mouth a roll of a book, etc.: but concerning the Apostles not so, but “there appeared unto them 
tongues as of fire.” Why is it a book and writing there, here tongue and fire? Because there the Prophet went his 
way to accuse sins, and to bewail Jewish calamities: whereas these went forth to consume the sins of the whole 
world: therefore he received a writing, to call to mind the coming calamities: these fire, to burn up the sins of 
the world, and utterly abolish them. For as fire falling among thorns will with ease destroy them, even so the 
grace of the Spirit consumed the sins of men.” 

99 This, which we have marked as parenthesis, seems to be out of its place: it interrupts what is said about 
Ezekiel, and besides is not relevant to the matter immediately in hand, ’EvrauSa 5e auro ro Ilv. ro "A. k. r. X. 

56 


Homily IV on Acts ii. 1, 2 . 


it is the Holy Ghost Himself: (Jer. i. 9) so equal is He in honor with the Father and the Son.) 
And again, on the other hand, Ezekiel calls it “Lamentations, and mourning, and woe.” (Ez. 
ii. 10.) To them it might well be in the form of a book; for they still needed similitudes. Those 
had to deal with only one nation, and with their own people; but these with the whole world, 
and with men whom they never knew. Also Elisha receives the grace through the medium 
of a mantle (2 Kings xiii.); another by oil, as David (1 Sam. xvi. 13); and Moses by fire, as 
we read of him at the bush. (Exod. iii. 2.) But in the present case it is not so; for the fire itself 
sat upon them. (But wherefore did the fire not appear so as to fill the house? Because they 
would have been terrified.) But the story shows, that it is the same here as there. 100 For you 
are not to stop at this, that “there appeared unto them cloven tongues,” but note that they 
were “of fire.” Such a fire as this is able to kindle infinite fuel. Also, it is well said, Cloven, 
for they were from one root; that you may learn, that it was an operation sent from the 
Comforter. 101 

But observe how those men also were first shown to be worthy, and then received the 
Spirit as worthy. Thus, for instance, David: what he did among the sheepfolds, the same 

he did after his victory and trophy; that it might be shown how simple and absolute was his 
faith. Again, see Moses despising royalty, and forsaking all, and after forty years taking the 
lead of the people (Exod. ii. 11); and Samuel occupied there in the temple (1 Sam. iii. 3); 
Elisha leaving all (1 Kings xix. 21); Ezekiel again, made manifest by what happened there- 


would come in more suitably after the mention of the fire in the bush, in which God appeared to Moses. And 
so Gicumenius seems to have taken it. “But it is in the likeness of fire, because the Spirit also is God, and to prove 
by this also that the Spirit is of one Nature (opotpuec;) with the Father, Who appears in this manner to Moses at 
the bush.” 

100 ''On rouro £K£tvo eon: i.e. The Spirit here given to the disciples, is the same that was given to those: but 
more intense in operation; therefore it appears not merely under the emblem of cloven tongues, but as tongues 
of fire. 

101 Chrys. seems to understand by Siapepi^opevat (v. 3), divided, distributed among the members of the 
company, rather than of a cloven form, a forked appearance, as indicating the shape of the fire-like tongues. 
The former is the preferable interpretation. (So the Rev. Vers. vs. A.V.). The latter view cannot explain the sin- 
gular verb which follows, EKaSiaev. — G.B.S. 

102 Iva SetxQfi aurou yupvfi r| Ttlaru;. Not, ut palam fieret fides ejus,fides ejus, Ben. but, quo ipsius nuda sim- 
plexque fides declararetur,” Erasm. The meaning seems to be: David after the victory over Goliath, when the 
hearts of the people were turned to him, and he might have taken possession of the kingdom to which he was 
anointed, yet did not seek worldly greatness, but chose rather to suffer persecutions, etc.: as developed in the 
Homilies de Davide et Saule, t. iv. 752. Below, for avarpetpopevov (“Samuel brought up in the temple,”) A. has 
dvaorpecpopevov, which we have adopted. 


57 


Homily IV on Acts ii. 1, 2. 


1 AO 

after. In this manner, you see, did these also leave all that they had. They learnt also what 
human infirmity is, by what they suffered; they learnt that it was not in vain they had done 
these good works. (1 Sam. ix. andxi. 6.) Even Saul, having first obtained witness that he was 
good, thereafter received the Spirit. But in the same manner as here did none of them receive. 
Thus Moses was the greatest of the Prophets, yet he, when others were to receive the Spirit, 
himself suffered diminution. 104 But here it is not so; but just as fire kindles as many flames 
as it will, so here the largeness of the Spirit was shown, in that each one received a fountain 
of the Spirit; as indeed He Himself had foretold, that those who believe in Him, should have 
“a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John iv. 14.) And good reason that it 
should be so. For they did not go forth to argue with Pharaoh, but to wrestle with the devil. 
But the wonder is this, that when sent they made no objections; they said not, they were 
“weak in voice, and of a slow tongue.” (Exod. iv. 10.) For Moses had taught them better. 
They said not, they were too young. (Jer. i. 6.) Jeremiah had made them wise. And yet they 
had heard of many fearful things, and much greater than were theirs of old time; but they 
feared to object. — And because they were angels of light, and ministers of things above 
[“Suddenly there came from heaven,” etc.] To them of old, no one “from heaven” appears, 
while they as yet follow after a vocation on earth; but now that Man has gone up on high, 
the Spirit also descends mightily from on high. “As it were a rushing mighty wind;” making 
it manifest by this, that nothing shall be able to withstand them, but they shall blow away 
all adversaries like a heap of dust. “And it filled all the house.” The house also was a symbol 
of the world. “And it sat upon each of them,” [etc.] and “the multitude came together, and 
were confounded.” Observe their piety; they pronounce no hasty judgment, but are perplexed: 
whereas those reckless ones pronounce at once, saying, “These men are full of new wine.” 
Now it was in order that they might have it in their power, 105 in compliance with the Law, 


103 So C and Cat. B. transposes Elisha and Ezekiel, A. omits the clause. Chiys. elsewhere makes it a special 
praise of Ezekiel, that he chose rather to accompany his people into captivity, than to remain in his own land: 
Interp. in Isai. i. t. 1. 2. and ad Stagyr. ii. t. ii. 228. In this manner then (he would say here), Ez. “left all,” and 
having thus given proof of his worth, received the gift of prophecy. The modern text reads: “Ezekiel again. And 
that the case was thus, is manifest from what followed. For indeed these also forsook all that they had. Therefore 
they then received the Spirit, when they had given proof of their own virtue.” — By these (ourot) we must under- 
stand the Old Test, saints just mentioned. It should rather have been eKetvoi, but Chrys. is negligent in the use 
of these pronouns. See Horn, in Matt. Field. Adnot. p. 709, B. 

104 ’HAarrouTO. Alluding to Numb. xi. 17. “I will take of the Spirit that is upon thee, and will put it upon 
them.” 

105 "Iva 5e e^fj. (Cat. vva 5el^r|.) CEcumen. iva e'xtoai, “that they may have it in their power, according to the 
law of their fathers, to appear thrice in the year, etc.” The modern text has, eitei £^rjv...5ia routo. “Because it 
was permitted. . .therefore.” 


58 


Homily IV on Acts ii. 1, 2. 


to appear thrice in the year in the Temple, that they dwelt there, these “devout men from 
all nations.” Observe here, the writer has no intention of flattering them. For he does not 
say that they pronounced any opinion: but what? “Now when this was noised abroad, the 
multitude came together, and were confounded.” And well they might be; for they supposed 
the matter was now coming to an issue against them, on account of the outrage committed 
against Christ. Conscience also agitated their souls, the very blood being yet upon their 
hands, and every thing alarmed them. “Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans?” 
For indeed this was confessed. [“And how hear we”] so much did the sound alarm them. 
[“Every man in our own tongue,” etc.] for it found the greater part of the world assembled 
there. [“Parthians and Medes,” etc.] This nerved the Apostles: for, what it was to speak in 
the Parthian tongue, they knew not but now learnt from what those said. Here is mention 
made of nations that were hostile to them, Cretans, Arabians, Egyptians, Persians: and that 
they would conquer them all was here made manifest. But as to their being in those countries, 
they were there in captivity, many of them: or else, the doctrines of the Law had become 
disseminated [among] the Gentiles in those countries . 106 So then the testimony comes from 
all quarters: from citizens, from foreigners, from proselytes. “We do hear them speak in our 
tongues the wonderful works of God.” For it was not only that they spoke (in their tongues), 
but the things they spoke were wonderful. Well then might they be in doubt: for never 

106 ’Eke! 5e ev alxpaAtocna qaav jtoAAoi r] Kai eke! StEaraxpro ra £0vq ra rtov Soypdrtov. A. B. C. N. As ra 
rwv 5 taken as apposition to ra £0vq yields no satisfactory sense, we adopt from the modern text itpoq before 
rd £0vq, and make, as there, rd rtov 5. the nom. to SiEattapro. And as in the next sentence Chrys. distinguishes 
citizens, foreign (Jews), and proselytes, and there is no mention of the last, unless it be in the clause r] Kai £K£l 
StEattapTO, we infer that ra rwv 5. means the Law of Moses. “Or also in those countries (Parthia, Media, etc. in 
consequence of the dispersion of the Jews) the Law and its religion had been disseminated among the Gentiles. 
So that from all quarters, etc.” Thus it is explained how there came to be present at Jerusalem “devout men” 
from Parthia and those other countries: there were many Jews there in captivity, and also proselytes of the Law 
from among the Gentiles. — In the modern text the passage is thus altered: “But, inasmuch as the Jews were in 
captivity, it is likely that there were then present with them many of the Gentiles: r] on Kai itpoq rd £0vq ra rwv 
Soyparwv r]5q KareaTtapro, Kai 5ta rouro ttoAAoI Kai kl, aurwv Ttapfjaav eke!. Or, because ra rwv 5. had become 
disseminated among the Gentiles also, and therefore many also of them were there present, Kara pvqpqv tbv 
qKOuaav. Here ra rtov Soypdrtov is taken to mean ‘the doctrines of the Christian Faith:’ as Erasmus renders 
the passage, Sive quod adgentes quoquefidei dogmata seminatafuerint, et hanc ob causam complures ex iis aderant 
ut memorarent quce audierant. It can hardly be supposed that St. Chrysostom meant to represent that some of 
these Parthians, Medes, etc. were Gentiles who had heard in their own country the tidings of the Faith of Christ, 
and therefore were present at Jerusalem: yet this is what he is made to say in this text. 

107 It is impossible to gain from this language any clear view of the author’s opinion of the gift of tongues. 
The uncertainty of the text here still further embarrasses the subject. That the narrative means that they received 
at Pentecost a miraculous gift of speaking foreign languages, is now almost unanimously maintained by modern 

59 



Homily IV on Acts ii. 1, 2 . 


had the like occurred. Observe the ingenuousness of these men. They were amazed and 

were in doubt, saying, “What meaneth this?” But “others mocking said, ‘These men are full 

of new wine’” (John viii. 48), and therefore mocked. O the effrontery! And what wonder is 

it? Since even of the Lord Himself, when casting out devils, they said that He had a devil! 

For so it is; wherever impudent assurance exists, it has but one object in view, to speak at 

all hazards, it cares not what; not that the man should say something real and relevant to 

the matter of discourse, but that he should speak no matter what. [“They are full of new 

i ns 

wine.”] Quite a thing of course (is not it?), that men in the midst of such dangers, and 
dreading the worst, and in such despondency, have the courage to utter such things! And 
observe: since this was unlikely; because they would not have been drinking much [at that 
early hour], they ascribe the whole matter to the quality (of the wine), and say, “They are 
full” of it. “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them.” 
In a former place 109 you saw his provident forethought, here you see his manly courage. 
For if they were astonished and amazed, was it not as wonderful that he should be able in 
the midst of such a multitude to find language, he, an unlettered and ignorant man? If a 
man is troubled when he speaks among friends, much more might he be troubled among 
enemies and bloodthirsty men. That they are not drunken, he shows immediately by his 
very voice, that they are not beside themselves, as the soothsayers: and this too, that they 
were not constrained by some compulsory force. What is meant by, “with the eleven?” They 
expressed themselves through one common voice, and he was the mouth of all. The eleven 
stood by as witnesses to what he said. “He lifted up his voice,” it is said. That is, he spoke 
with great confidence, that they might perceive the grace of the Spirit. He who had not en- 
dured the questioning of a poor girl, now in the midst of the people, all breathing murder, 
discourses with such confidence, that this very thing becomes an unquestionable proof of 


scholars. The difficult question as to the gift of tongues as referred to in 1 Cor. xiv. should not lead to a weakening 
or explaining away of such unmistakable expressions as erepaic; yA.u>aaai<; (4), qperepau; yAwaaau; (11), and rfj 
151& 139’ SiaAiicnp (6, 8). Cf. Markxvi. 17. — G.B.S. 

108 ndvu ye (ou yelp;) avfipWTtoi k. r. X. See above, p. 47. note u. and 66, note c. The modern text has, ndvu 
ye' on dvfipumoi k. t. X. Below, “Since this was improbable, therefore, to impose upon the hearers, and show 
that the men are drunken, they ascribe, etc.” But in the old text it is, on ouk av ep£0ua0qaav, meaning, “because 
[so early in the day] they would not have been drinking much,” (this is the force of the tense p£0ua0rjvou as in 
John ii. 10) “therefore they ascribe all to the quality (of the wine);” because as CEcumen. says, explaining this 
remark of Chrys., the fumes of yXewoc; mount more quickly to the brain, etc. Erasmus, seemingly referring this 
to p£p£aru>p£voi, translates hebetudini crapulceque rem totam ascribunt: Ben. even more strangely, 'agendi et 
loquendi modo totum ascribunt. 

109 ’EkeT: referring to ch. i. as expounded in Horn. iii. So CEcumen, in loc. v Avto p£v rf[v Kq5£povlav 
ETttSelKvurai, £v oiq ru> 7tArj0£t £TtiTp£ii£i rqv EKAoyqv k. r. X. 


60 


Homily IV on Acts ii. 1, 2 . 


the Resurrection: in the midst of men who could deride and make a joke of such things as 
these! What effrontery, think you, must go to that! what impiety, what shamelessness! 110 
For wherever the Holy Spirit is present, He makes men of gold out of men of clay. Look, I 
pray you, at Peter now: examine well that timid one, and devoid of understanding; as Christ 
said, “Are ye also yet without understanding?” (Matt. xv. 16) the man, who after that mar- 
vellous confession was called “Satan.” (Ib. xvi. 23.) Consider also the unanimity of the 
Apostles. They themselves ceded to him the office of speaking; for it was not necessary that 
all should speak. “And he lifted up his voice,” and spoke out to them with great boldness. 
Such a thing it is to be a spiritual man! Only let us also bring ourselves into a state meet for 
the grace from above, and all becomes easy. For as a man of fire falling into the midst of 
straw would take no harm, but do it to others: not he could take any harm, but they, in as- 
sailing him, destroy themselves. For the case here was just as if one carrying hay should attack 
one bearing fire: even so did the Apostles encounter these their adversaries with great 
boldness. 

For what did it harm them, though they were so great a multitude? Did they not spend 
all their rage? did they not turn the distress upon themselves? Of all mankind were ever any 
so possessed with both rage and terror, as those became possessed? Were they not in an 
agony, and were dismayed, and trembled? For hear what they say, “Do ye wish to bring this 
man’s blood upon us?” (Acts v. 28.) Did they * * 111 (the Apostles) not fight against poverty and 
hunger: against ignominy and infamy (for they were accounted deceivers): did they not 
fight against ridicule and wrath and mockery? — for in their case the contraries met: some 

laughed at them, others punished them; — were they not made a mark for the wrathful pas- 


110 Here the modern text (Edd.) enlarges by the additions “to account the wonder of the tongues the work 
of drunkenness? But not a whit did this annoy the Apostles; nor did it make them less bold at hearing such 

scoffing. By the presence of the Spirit they were now transformed, and were become superior to all bodily con- 
siderations.” 

111 The change of subject (from the Jews to the Apostles) is not expressed in the original. To remedy the 
confusion occasioned by this negligence, the modern text (Edd.) transposes this part: viz. after the sentence 
ending, “so great a multitude:” it has, “For tell me: did they not fight — in a picture?” And then, “What? I pray 
you; did they not exhaust, etc.” Clearly the other is the original order. It is shown, first, how the Jews were utterly 
worsted, and how awfully the whole posture of affairs was reversed for them; and then, how victoriously the 
preachers of the new Faith maintained their ground against the whole world. 

112 Edd. “Were they not subjected to the ridicule and mockery of those present? For in their case both these 
befel together: for some derided them, others mocked.” Which is weak enough; but the original text could not 
be retained, because on the supposition that all this relates to the Jews then present , the mention of “wrath” and 
“punishment” would be irrelevant. 


61 


Homily IV on Acts ii. 1, 2. 


110 

sions, and for the merriment, of whole cities? exposed to factions and conspiracies: to 
fire, and sword, and wild beasts? Did not war beset them from every quarter, in ten thousand 
forms? And were they any more affected in their minds by all these things, than they would 
have been at seeing them in a dream or in a picture ? 114 With bare body they took the field 
against all the armed, though against them all men had arbitrary power [against them, were] : 
terrors of rulers, force of arms, in cities and strong walls : 115 without experience, without 
skill of the tongue, and in the condition of quite ordinary men, matched against juggling 
conjurors, against impostors, against the whole throng of sophists, of rhetoricians, of 
philosophers grown mouldy in the Academy and the walks of the Peripatetics, against all 
these they fought the battle out. And the man whose occupation had been about lakes, so 
mastered them, as if it cost him not so much ado as even a contest with dumb fishes: for 
just as if the opponents he had to outwit were indeed more mute than fishes, so easily did 
he get the better of them! And Plato, that talked a deal of nonsense in his day, is silent now, 
while this man utters his voice everywhere; not among his own countrymen alone, but also 
among Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and in India, and in every part of the earth, and 
to the extremities of the world. Where now is Greece, with her big pretentions? Where the 
name of Athens? Where the ravings of the philosophers? He of Galilee, he of Bethsaida, he, 
the uncouth rustic, has overcome them all. Are you not ashamed — confess it — at the very 
name of the country of him who has defeated you? But if you hear his own name too, and 
learn that he was called Cephas, much more will you hide your faces. This, this has undone 
you quite; because you esteem this a reproach, and account glibness of tongue a praise, and 
want of glibness a disgrace. You have not followed the road you ought to have chosen, but 
leaving the royal road, so easy, so smooth, you have trodden one rough, and steep, and la- 
borious. And therefore you have not attained unto the kingdom of heaven. 


113 EuSuplau;, i.e. “bursts of self-complacent mirth” (e.g. at Athens), opposed to BupoTq “explosions of wrath.” 
Ben. without specifying the authority, notes a various reading, dBuptouq which is found in none of the Paris 
copies, and is quite unmeaning. Edd. pavfau;. 

1 14 Ben. interprets: “So unlooked for were these trials, that the Apostles seemed to themselves to be dreaming 
or beholding these things in a picture.” But when the true order of the text is restored, no such far-fetched 
comment is needed. 

115 The text is defective here, apxovrwv <po(3ot, ottAwv taxuc JtoAeai teat retxeotv oxupolq. The text of the 
Edd. has: “And the wonder is, that with bare body they took the field against armed men, against rulers having 
power over them: without experience,” etc. 


62 



Homily IV on Acts ii. 1, 2. 


Why then, it is asked, did not Christ exercise His influence upon Plato, and upon Py- 
thagoras? Because the mind of Peter was much more philosophical 116 than their minds. 
They were in truth children shifted about on all sides by vain glory; but this man was a 
philosopher, one apt to receive grace. If you laugh at these words, it is no wonder; for those 
aforetime laughed, and said, the men were full of new wine. But afterwards, when they 
suffered those bitter calamities, exceeding all others in misery; when they saw their city 
falling in ruins, and the fire blazing, and the walls hurled to the ground, and those manifold 
frantic horrors, which no one can find words to express, they did not laugh then. And you 
will laugh then, if you have the mind to laugh, when the time of hell is close at hand, when 
the fire is kindled for your souls. But why do I speak of the future? Shall I show you what 
Peter is, and what Plato, the philosopher? Let us for the present examine their respective 
habits, let us see what were the pursuits of each. The one wasted his time about a set of idle 
and useless dogmas, and philosophical, as he says, that we may learn that the soul of our 
philosopher becomes a fly. Most truly said, a fly! not indeed changed into one, but a fly 
must have entered upon possession of the soul which dwelt in Plato; for what but a fly is 
worthy of such ideas! The man was full of irony, and of jealous feelings against every one 
else, as if he made it his ambition to introduce nothing useful, either out of his own head 
or other people’s. Thus he adopted the metempsychosis from another, and from himself 
produced the Republic, in which he enacted those laws full of gross turpitude. Let the women, 


116 St. Chrysostom’s habitual use of the term philosophy is thus explained in the index of Mr. Field’s edition 
of the Com. on St. Matt. “Philosophy, according to the custom of Chrys. is not Christian piety, not the exercise 
of any virtue, not a pious and chaste life, not virtue in general, but that part of virtue, which consists in subduing 
the carnal appetites and affections. Thus to Christian philosophy are to be referred: forbearance and long suffering; 
humblemindedness; contempt of wealth; an austere and monastic life; every other mortification (omdOeta). Its 
contraries are: emulation ((jqAoTUTna, see below), envy and vainglory, and all other passions.” 

117 kou (ptAoaocpa, cpqatv, vva: “And ‘philosophical,’ forsooth:” but perhaps it should be kou ecptAoaocpriaev 
vva: “this was the upshot of his philosophizing.” 'H tou cptAoaocpou vjjuxq: 'the soul of the philosopher himself 
(A tou StSaavcaAou), viz. equally with the souls of other men, becomes, for instance, a fly,” etc. Comp, infra: 
“our soul passes into flies and dogs,” etc. and Horn, in Ev. Joann, t. viii. 8. D. “they say that the souls of men become 
flies, gnats, shrubs.” — Edd. “For what is the benefit from learning that the soul of the philosopher,” etc. The next 
sentence (ovtcoc; pula— ouk etc; puTav p£T£7U7tT£V (sc. f| vjwxn), dAA’ £Tte(3atv£ (sc. pula rfj ev IlAocr. otKOuap) 
cjjuxfi seems to mean, ‘He talks of the soul becoming a fly: and truly the soul in Plato might be claimed by a fly:’ 
£Tte(3. rfj cJj. as e.g. is £iu(3atvav rfj £Ttapxv& 139 - to step into possession of, etc. novae; yap taura ou puvaq; Edd. 
paraioAnytac;; adding, Ilocpev 5f] touxOtoc AqpeTv £Tte(3dA£T0; “What could put it into his head to rave in this 
fashion?” 

118 The author’s depreciation of Plato contrasts unfavorably with the more generous estimates of a long line 
of Church Fathers from Justin to Augustin. — G.B.S. 


63 



Homily IV on Acts ii. 1, 2. 


he says, be in common, and let the virgins go naked, and let them wrestle before the eyes of 
their lovers, and let there also be common fathers, and let the children begotten be common. 
But with us, not nature makes common fathers, but the philosophy of Peter does this; as 
for that other, it made away with all paternity . 119 For Plato’s system only tended to make 
the real father next to unknown, while the false one was introduced. It plunged the soul into 
a kind of intoxication and filthy wallowing. Let all, he says, have intercourse with the women 
without fear. The reason why I do not examine the maxims of poets, is, that I may not be 
charged with ripping up fables. And yet I am speaking of fables much more ridiculous than 
even those. Where have the poets devised aught so portentous as this? But (not to enter into 
the discussion of his other maxims), what say you to these — when he equips the females 
with arms, and helmets, and greaves, and says that the human race has no occasion to differ 
from the canine! Since dogs, he says, the female and the male, do just the same things in 
common, so let the women do the same works as the men, and let all be turned upside down. 
For the devil has always endeavored by their means to show that our race is not more 
honorable than that of brutes; and, in fact, some have gone to such a pitch of (KEVoSo^iac;) 
absurdity, as to affirm that the irrational creatures are endued with reason. And see in how 
many various ways he has run riot in the minds of those men! For whereas their leading 
men affirmed that our soul passes into flies, and dogs, and brute creatures; those who came 
after them, being ashamed of this, fell into another kind of turpitude, and invested the brute 
creatures with all rational science, and made out that the creatures — which were called into 
existence on our account — are in all respects more honorable than we! They even attribute 
to them foreknowledge and piety. The crow, they say, knows God, and the raven likewise, 
and they possess gifts of prophecy, and foretell the future; there is justice among them, and 
polity, and laws. Perhaps you do not credit the things I am telling you. And well may you 
not, nurtured as you have been with sound doctrine; since also, if a man were fed with this 
fare, he would never believe that there exists a human being who finds pleasure in eating 
dung. The dog also among them is jealous, according to Plato. But when we tell them 
that these things are fables, and are full of absurdity, ‘You do not enter (evof|oare) into the 
higher meaning,’ say they. No, we do not enter into this your surpassing nonsense, and may 


119 ’Eire! EKelvo ye Kod dvrjpet. Erasmus translates, Quandoquidem et illud quod Plato docuit, sustulit: whence 
Ben. Nam illud Platonis hie (Petrus) sustulit: i.e. for Peter’s doctrine (of chastity) has made an end of that lewd 
dogma of Plato’s. But the following sentence rather implies that the meaning is as above given. 

120 At’ aurtov, Ben. per illas, which they seem to refer to yuvalKec;. Erasm. per illos, which is doubtless right: 
by means of the philosophers, as below, ev rale; etceivtov vjwxau;. 

121 Kod ^r|AoT trap aurou; 6 kuwv Kara nAartova. Edd. have this after “polity and laws,” where it is clearly 
out of place, whatever it means. 


64 



Homily IV on Acts ii. 1, 2. 


we never do so: for it requires (of course! 122 ) an excessively profound mind, to inform me, 
what all this impiety and confusion would be at. Are you talking, senseless men, in the lan- 
guage of crows, as the children are wont (in play)? For you are in very deed children, even 
as they. But Peter never thought of saying any of these things: he uttered a voice, like a great 
light shining out in the dark, a voice which scattered the mist and darkness of the whole 
world. Again, his deportment, how gentle it was, how considerate (etneiKec;); how far above 
all vainglory; how he looked towards heaven without all self- elation, and this, even when 
raising up the dead! But if it had come to be in the power of any one of those senseless people 
(in mere fantasy of course) to do anything like it, would he not straightway have looked for 
an altar and a temple to be reared to him, and have wanted to be equal with the gods? since 
in fact when no such sign is forthcoming, they are forever indulging such fantastic conceits. 
And what, pray you, is that Minerva of theirs, and Apollo, and Juno? They are different 
kinds of demons among them. And there is a king of theirs, who thinks fit to die for the 
mere purpose of being accounted equal with the gods. But not so the men here: no, just the 
contrary. Hear how they speak on the occasion of the lame man’s cure. “Ye men of Israel, 
why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made him 
to walk? (ch. iii. 12.) We also are men of like passions with you. (Ibid. xiv. 14.) But with 
those, great is the self-elation, great the bragging; all for the sake of men’s honors, nothing 
for the pure love of truth and virtue. (cpiAooocpiac; svsksv.) For where an action is done for 
glory, all is worthless. For though a man possess all, yet if he have not the mastery over this 
(lust), he forfeits all claim to true philosophy, he is in bondage to the more tyrannical and 
shameful passion. Contempt of glory; this it is that is sufficient to teach all that is good, and 
to banish from the soul every pernicious passion. I exhort you therefore to use the most 
strenuous endeavors to pluck out this passion by the very roots; by no other means can you 
have good esteem with God, and draw down upon you the benevolent regard of that Eye 
which never sleepeth. Wherefore, let us use all earnestness to obtain the enjoyment of that 
heavenly influence, and thus both escape the trial of present evils, and attain unto the future 
blessings, through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to 
the Father and the Holy Ghost be glory, power, honor, now and ever, and to all ages. Amen. 


122 Edd. 2kpo5pa ye' ou yap tppevcx; fSaSeiat;. Read EcpoSpa ye (ou yap); <pp. (3. as above, p. 22, note 1, and 28, 


note 1. 


65 


Homily V on Acts ii. 14. 


Homily V. 

Acts II. 14 

“Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken 
to my words. ” 

[“Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem,”] whom the writer above described 

i n-j 

as strangers. Here he directs his discourse to those others, the mockers, and while he 
seems to reason with those, he sets these right. For indeed it was divinely ordered that “some 
mocked,” that he might have a starting-point for his defence, and by means of that defence, 
might teach. [“And all ye that dwell in Jerusalem.”] It seems they accounted it a high enco- 
mium to dwell in Jerusalem too. 124 “Be this,” says he, “known unto you, and hearken unto 
my words.” In the first instance he made them more disposed to attend to him. “For not as 
ye suppose,” says he, “are these drunken.” Do you observe the mildness of his defence? 
(v. 15.) Although having the greater part of the people on his side, he reasons with those 
others gently; first he removes the evil surmise, and then he establishes his apology. On this 
account, therefore, he does not say, “as ye mock,” or, “as ye deride,” but, “as ye suppose;” 
wishing to make it appear that they had not said this in earnest, and for the present taxing 
them with ignorance rather than with malice. “For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, 
seeing it is but the third hour of the day.” And why this? Is it not possible at the third hour 
to be drunken? But he did not insist upon this to the letter; for there was nothing of the kind 


123 The eKeivoi, if the old text be correct, are the mockers, but these are not “the devout men out of every 
nation under heaven,” therefore one, ^evouq eiitev dvwrepto can hardly be meant to refer to the following clause, 
£vrou0a itpoq eKelvouc k. r. X. The omission of the text-words, and the seeming antithesis of avwrepu) and 
evrauSa, caused a confusion which the modern text attempts to remedy by transposing roue; 5taxA- to the place 
of rourouq. “Whom the writer above called strangers, to those Peter here directs his speech, and he seems indeed 
to discourse with those, but corrects the mockers.” This just inverts Chrysostom’s meaning, which is clear enough 
from the following context. He says: “The ‘dwellers in Jerusalem’ are especially the devout men out of every 
nation mentioned above, and to instruct these (rourouc;) is the real aim of the discourse, which however is ad- 
dressed in the first instance to the others (sKervotx;), whose mockery gave occasion to it. St. Peter stands up ap- 
parently for the purpose of defending himself and his brethren: but this is in fact quite a secondary object, and 
the apology becomes a sermon of doctrine.” 

124 Kai ro ev I. otKexv. Below he explains avSpeq iouSalot to mean, “dwellers in Judea:” therefore the Kai 
seems to mean, “to be not only such, but dwellers in Jerusalem also.” 

125 Here our leading ms. after ou yocp coq upeTq, has dmoJtA.qpouTai, cpqai, kou UTioA.apPdverat on p£0uouaiv. 
“For not as ye.” — It is fulfilled (he says) and it is supposed that they are drunken!” which may have been said 
by Chrys., but certainly not in this place. 


66 


Homily V on Acts ii. 14. 


about them; the others said it only in mockery. Hence we learn that on unessential points 

one must not spend many words. And besides, the sequel is enough to bear him out on this 
point: so now the discourse is for all in common. “But this is that which was spoken by the 
prophet Joel, And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith the Lord God. (v. 16, 17. Joel 
ii. 28.) Nowhere as yet the name of Christ, nor His promises but the promise is that of the 
Father. Observe the wisdom: observe the considerate forbearance: (ouYKorraJJacuv.) He did 
not pass on to speak at once of the things relating to Christ; that He had promised this after 
His Crucifixion; truly that would have been to upset all. And yet, you will say, here was 
sufficient to prove His divinity. True, it was, if believed (and the very point was that it should 
be believed); but if not believed, it would have caused them to be stoned. “And I will pour 
out of My Spirit upon all flesh.” He offers even to them excellent hopes, if they would have 
them. And so far, he does not leave it to be regarded as the exclusive advantage of himself 
and his company; which would have made them be looked upon with an evil eye; thus cutting 
off all envious feeling. “And your sons shall prophesy.” And yet, he says, not yours this 
achievement, this distinction; the gift has passed over to your children. Himself and his 
company he calls their sons, and those [whom he is addressing] he calls his and their fathers. 
“And your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; and on My 
servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall 
prophesy.” So far he shows that he and his have found favor, in that they had received 
(Kara^iojGsvrac;) [the Spirit]; not so they whom he is addressing; for that they had crucified 
[the Lord] . So Christ also, willing to mitigate their wrath, said, “By whom do your sons cast 
out devils?” (Matt. xii. 27.) He did not say, My disciples; for indeed it seemed a flattering 
mode of expression. And so Peter also did not say, ‘They are not drunk, but speak by the 
Spirit:’ but he takes refuge with the prophet, and under shelter of him, so speaks. As for the 
accusation [of drunkenness], he cleared himself of that by his own assertion; but for the 
grace, he fetches the prophet as witness. “I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh.” [“And 
your sons,” etc.] To some the grace was imparted through dreams, to others it was openly 
poured forth. For indeed by dreams the prophets saw, and received revelations. 


126 There is no reason to doubt that the company who witnessed the scenes at Pentecost really supposed the 
Christians to be intoxicated. To this opinion they were, of course, the more readily inclined because of their 
prejudice against the new sect. The force of Peter’s refutation of the charge of drunkenness: “Seeing it is but the 
third hour, etc.,” lies partly in the fact that 9 a.m. was too early for any such general intoxication, and still more 
in the fact that the third hour was the first hour of prayer, at which time it would have been sacrilege to drink 
to excess. — G.B.S. 

127 Here the innovator, again mistaking his author’s meaning, as if it were — Peter did not say, “These are 
not drunk,” but what he did say was, “They speak by the Spirit” — finds it necessary to add, Kai oux anA.ux;, And 
not merely so, but, etc. 


67 


Homily V on Acts ii. 14. 


Then he goes on with the prophecy, which has in it also something terrible. “And I will 
show wonders in heaven above, and signs” [“in the earth beneath”] . (v. 19.) In these words 
he speaks both of the judgment to come, and of the taking of Jerusalem. “Blood and fire, 
and vapor of smoke.” Observe how he describes the capture. “The sun shall be turned into 
darkness, and the moon into blood.” (v. 20.) This results from the (SiaGeaeuu;) internal af- 
fection of the sufferers. It is said, indeed, that many such phenomena actually did occur in 
the sky, as Josephus attests. At the same time the Apostle strikes fear into them, by reminding 
them of the darkness which had lately occurred, and leading them to expect things to come. 
“Before that great and notable day of the Lord come.” For be not confident, he means to 
say, because at present you sin with impunity. For these things are the prelude of a certain 
great and dreadful day. Do you see how he made their souls to quake and melt within them, 
and turned their laughter into pleading for acquittal? For if these things are the prelude 
of that day, it follows that the extreme of danger is impending. But what next? He again lets 
them take breath, adding, “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the 
name of the Lord, shall be saved.” (Rom. x. 13.) This is said concerning Christ, as Paul affirms, 
but Peter does not venture as yet to reveal this. 

Well, let us look over again what has been said. It is well managed, that as against men 
laughing and mocking, he starts up and begins with, “Be this known unto you all and hearken 
unto my words.” But he begins by saying, “Ye men of Judea.” By the expression ’iouSai'oi, 
I take him to mean those that lived in Judea. — And, if you please, let us compare those ex- 
pressions in the Gospel, that you may learn what a sudden change has taken place in Peter. 
“A damsel,” it is written, “came out unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.” 
And, says he, “I know not the Man.” And being again questioned, “he began to curse and 
to swear.” (Matt. xxvi. 69-72.) But see here his boldness, and his great freedom of speech. — He 
did not praise those who had said, “We do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful 
works of God;” but by his severity towards those others, he made these more earnest, and 
at the same time his address is clear from all appearance of adulation. And it is well to remark, 
on all occasions, however the Apostles may condescend to the level of their hearers 
(auYKardfkoic;), their language is clear from all appearance both of adulation and of in- 
solence: which is a difficult point to manage. 

Now that these things should have occurred at “the third hour,” was not without cause. 
For the brightness of this fire is shown at the very time when people are not engaged in 

128 djioA-OYiocv, as in 2 Cor. vii. 11. “Yea, what clearing of yourselves.” 

129 i.e. The brightness of the miraculous fire appears at a time when there would be many to see it, people 
not being engaged in their works, nor within their houses at their noontide meal. CEcumenius evidently had the 
old text before him, for he gives the same sense with the slightest verbal alterations. In the Catena the sense is 
altered by omission of the negatives. “When people are about their work, when about their dinner,” etc. The 
innovator (followed by Edd. ) makes it “For when the brightness of the light is shown, then men are not occupied 


68 


Homily V on Acts ii. 14. 


their works, nor at dinner; when it is bright day, when all are in the market-place. Do you 
observe also the freedom which fills his speech? “And hearken to my words.” And he added 
nothing, but, “This,” says he, “is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall 
come to pass in the last days.” He shows, in fact, that the consummation is nigh at hand, 
and the words, “In the last days,” have a kind of emphasis. [“I will pour out,” etc.] And then, 
that he may not seem to limit the privilege to the sons only, he subjoins, “And your old men 
shall dream dreams.” Mark the sequence. First sons; just as David said, “Instead of thy 
fathers, were begotten thy sons.” (Ps. xlv. 17.) And again Malachi; “They shall turn the hearts 
of the fathers to the children. And on my handmaidens, and on my servants.” (Mai. iv. 6.) 
This also is a token of excellence, for we have become His servants, by being freed from sin. 
And great is the gift, since the grace passes over to the other sex also, not as of old, it was 
limited to just one or two individuals, as Deborah and Huldah. He did not say that it was 
the Holy Ghost, neither did he expound the words of the prophet; but he merely brings in 
the prophecy to fight its own battle. As yet also he has said nothing about Judas; and yet it 
was known to all what a doom and punishment he had undergone; for nothing was more 
forcible than to argue with them from prophecy: this was more forcible even than facts. For 
when Christ performed miracles, they often contradicted Him. But when Christ brought 
forward the prophet, saying, “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on my right hand,” 
they were silent, and “no man,” we read, “was able to answer Him a word.” (Ps. xc. 1.) And 
on all occasions He Himself also appealed to the Scriptures; for instance, “If he called them 
gods to whom the word of God came.” (John x. 35.) And in many places one may find this. 
On this account here also Peter says, “I will pour out of my spirit upon all flesh;” that is, 

i o 1 

upon the Gentiles also. But he does not yet reveal this, nor give interpretations; indeed, 
it was better not to do so (as also this obscure saying, “I will show wonders in heaven above,” 
put them the more in fear because it was obscure.) And it would have been more an offence, 
had it been interpreted from the very first. Then besides, even as plain, he passes over it, 
wishing to make them regard it as such. But after all, he does interpret to them anon, when 
he discourses to them upon the resurrection, and after he has paved the way by his discourse. 


in the business of dinner (ouTtepiepYa...rdTtepiapiarov), then the day is cheerful (cpatSpa, the brisk and stirring 
time of day), then all are in the market.” By to Aapitpov tou cpwrop he seems to mean bright daylight. 

130 Here, after etc; Seurepav, C. has ’0A.5 av (marg. yp. Kai Ao(3vav. otov Ae|3. Kai Ao(3vav. B. after Ae(3. Kai 
’OAfiav adds rj Ao(3vav) It does not appear who is meant by this Lobna, unless it originates in some strange 
misconception of 2 Kings xxiii. 31, “daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah,” LXX. 0. 'I. £K Ao(3vcL Clem. Alex. Str. i. 
§. 136. has no such name in his list of Old Testament prophetesses. 

131 Edd. “For it was not expedient, because this also was obscure. I will show, etc. For it frightened them 
more, being obscure. But if he had interpreted, it would even have offended them more.” 


69 


Homily V on Acts ii. 14. 


1 

(i infra v. 39.) For since the good things were not sufficient to allure them, [it is added, 

i oo 

“And I will show wonders, etc.”]. Yet this has never been fulfilled. For none escaped then 
[in that former judgment], but now the faithful did escape, in Vespasian’s time. And this it 
is that the Lord speaks of, “Except those days had been shortened, not all flesh should be 
saved.” — [“Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke.”] (Matt. xxiv. 22.) The worst to come first; 134 
namely, the inhabitants to be taken, and then the city to be razed and burnt. Then he dwelt 
upon the metaphor, bringing before the eyes of the hearers the overthrow and the taking. 
“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood.” What means, the moon 
turned into blood? It denotes the excess of the slaughter. The language is fraught with 
helpless dismay. ( supra p. 32.) “And it shall come to pass, every one who shall call upon the 
name of the Lord shall be saved. Every one,” he says: though he be priest (but he does not 

1 or 

vet reveal the meaning), though bond, though free. For there is no male nor female in 
Christ Jesus, no bond, no free. (Gal. iii. 28.) Well may it be so, for all these are but shadow. 
For if in king’s palaces there is no high-born nor low-born, but each appears according to 
his deeds; and in art, each is shown by his works; much more in that school of wisdom 
(cptAoaocpta). “Every one who shall invoke.” Invoke: not any how, for it is written, “Not 
every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord:” but with (SiaGsaeojc;) inward earnest affection, 
with a life more than commonly good, with the confidence which is meet. Thus far, however, 
he makes the discourse light, by introducing that which relates to faith, and that terrible 

1 O/' 

which relates to the punishment. For in the invocation is the salvation. 

What, I pray you, is this you say? Do you talk of salvation for them after the Cross? Bear 
with me a little. Great is the mercy of God. And this very fact does, no less than the resurrec- 
tion, prove him to be God, yea, no less than His miracles — the fact that He calls these to 
Him. For surpassing goodness is, above all things, peculiarly God’s own. Therefore also He 
says, “None is good save one, that is, God.” (Luke xviii. 19.) Only let us not take this goodness 


132 What follows in the edited text is obscure and perplexed. The original text seems to labor under some 
defects, besides the omission of the passages commented upon. 

133 Something seems wanting here: e.g. as above, “There were signs in heaven, as Josephus relates. This 
however, in the full sense, has never been fulfilled.” And then, a reference to the Babylonian compared with the 
Roman judgment. 

134 First blood, i.e. the taking and slaughter of the inhabitants: then, fire, etc., i.e. the burning of the city. 

135 As B. has this sentence, which is in fact necessary to the sense, the omission of it in C. A. may be referred 
to the homoeoteleuton, eAeuBepop. 

136 kou (=Kou7tep, or el Kal?) <po(3epov to Tfjc KoAdaeax;. i.e. he alleviates the severity of his discourse by 
speaking of the effects of faith, at the same time that he shows the fearfulness of the punishment. Edd. Kal ou 
<po(3. KpuTtrwv to Tfjp KoAaoecoq, i.e. light... and not fearful, by withdrawing out of sight what relates to the 
punishment: which however Ben. renders as if it were ou to <po(3. And not concealing the fearfulness, etc.” 


70 


Homily V on Acts ii. 14. 


for an occasion of negligence. For He also punishes as God. In fact, the very punishments 
here spoken of, He brought them to pass, even He who said, “Every one who shall call on 
the name of the Lord, shall be saved.” I speak of the fate of Jerusalem; that intolerable 
punishment: of which I will tell you some few of the particulars, useful to us in our contest, 
both with the Marcionites and many other heretics. For, since they distinguish between 
Christ a good God, and that evil God [of the Old Testament], let us see who it was that ef- 
fected these things. The evil God, taking vengeance for Christ? or not so? How then alien 
to Him? But was it the good God? Nay, but it is demonstrated that both the Father and the 
Son did these things. The Father in many places; for instance, when He says in the parable 

i oo 

of the vineyard, [“He will miserably destroy those wicked husbandmen” (Matt. xxi. 41); 
again in the parable of the marriage feast, the King is said] to send His armies (ib. xxii. 7): 
and the Son, when He says, “But those Mine enemies, which would not that I should reign 
over them, bring hither, and slay them before Me.” (Luke xix. 27.) * * *. And they sent, 
saying, We will not have Thee to reign over us. Would you like then to hear the things which 
actually came to pass? Moreover, Christ Himself also speaks of the future tribulations, than 
which never any thing more dreadful came to pass; never any thing more ruthless, my be- 
loved, than the deeds then done! 140 And He Himself declared it. For what could you wish 


137 It is extremely doubtful if Peter understood by “the great and terrible day of the Lord” (20) the destruction 
of Jerusalem. (Chrys.) It probably refers to the Parousia which is thought of as imminent. The “last days” then 
would be the days preceding the Messianic age which is to begin at the Parousia. This view harmonizes with the 
Jewish conception and with the Christian expectation that the then existing period (aiwv ourop) was soon to 
pass into a new age (ou& 24Tv peAAtov). The scenes of Pentecost were thought to be the harbingers of this 
consummation and were so significant both of the joys and woes of the impending crisis, that the bold imagery 
of the prophet Joel is applied to them. Cf. the prophetic terms in which the destruction of Jerusalem is foretold — an 
event closely associated with the personal return of our Lord in Matt. xxiv. — G.B.S. 

138 d><; orav Aiyij ev rw dpiteA-tovt Ttepneiv ra arpareupara aurou. Chrys. is misreported here, for the sending 
forth of the armies belongs to the parable of the marriage of the king’s son. 

1 39 Something must have been omitted here: viz. a brief exposition of the parable here referred to. The innov- 
ator endeavors to mend the text, by leaving out the following sentence. 

140 'Qv ou5ev tbporepov yeyovev, dyomriToi, rwv tore Ttenpaypevtov npaypartov. This may be explained as 
a negligent construction, but perhaps some words are omitted. The next sentence, Kal auroc dTCcppvaro (which 
phrase is repeated below), refers to Matt. xxiv. 21. “There shall be great tribulation, such as has not been from 
the beginning of the world to this time.” 


71 


Homily V on Acts ii. 14. 


to see more grievous than these? * * * — probed them with their daggers! 141 — * * * But shall 
I relate to you the shocking case of the woman, that tragic tale? * * * (Joseph. B. J. vi. 3. 4.) 
Did not the actual events cast all misery into the shade? But shall I tell you of famines and 
pestilences? One might speak of horrors without number: nature was unknown; law un- 
known; they outdid wild beasts in ferocity. True, these miseries came by the fate of wars; 
but because God, because Christ so willed it to be. These facts will apply both against the 
Marcionites and against those who do not believe that there is a hell: for they are sufficient 
to silence their impudence. Are not these calamities more severe than the Babylonian? 142 
Are not these sufferings more grievous than the famines of that time? Yes, for [“never was 
the like from the beginning of the world”] “no, nor ever shall be such.” (Matt. xxiv. 21.) And 
this was Christ’s own declaration. In what sense then, think ye, is it said that Christ remitted 
them their sin? 143 Perhaps it seems a commonplace question: but do ye solve it. — It is not 
possible to show anywhere, even in fiction, any thing like what the reality was here. And 
had it been a Christian that wrote this history, the matter might be regarded with suspicion: 


141 ’opeytOKOic (dagger-blades, or spear-heads, or spits) autouc Sieiteipav. In Horn. vi. p. 43. infra, we have 
the phrase rvvec oPeAroKOi Ttettuptopevot Stettetpav awpa. It is evident that something is omitted, and no more 
probable supposition presents itself, than that Chrys. here read out from Josephus or Eusebius the description 
of the famine among the besieged (which the reporter of the sermon omitted at the time, intending to insert it 
at his leisure); and that the short sentence in the text is the preacher’s own parenthetical explanation of some 
part of the description. Thus, B. J. vi. 3. 3. speaking of the cruelties practised upon dying wretches suspected of 
having food concealed about their persons, Josephus says: ’AAAa xat roue; EKTtveovrac; oi Arjarai Stqpeuvwv, 
pqnc utto koAtiov eytov rpotpijv aKfjTtroiTO rov Savarov aimo. Perhaps 6(3eAfaKOic aurouc Siettetpav is C.’s 
comment upon Stqpeuvwv. — Or, in like manner, it may refer to the description in B. J. v. 12. 3. how the A-parai, 
after ransacking the bodies of the dead, tried the edges of their swords upon them, etc. Tac re aicpac rtbv ^upwv 
eSoKipa^ov ev role nrcopaat, Kal ttvac rwv eppippevwv ert (Jwvrac SiqAauvov ettl ttetpa rou aiSqpou. Perhaps, 
however, the expression may be taken in a metaphorical sense as in the phrase above cited: “they pierced 
themselves (eautouc for aurouc) as with spits or lancets.” 

142 Against the Marcionites, he says: You say that the God of the Old Testament is a cruel God; whereas 
Christ, the good God, is all mildness. Yet was not the Roman judgment upon the Jews inflicted by Him? And 
was it not beyond comparison more ruthless (toporepov, above) than the Babylonian or any former judgment, 
inflicted, as you say, by the God of the Old Testament? 

143 nd>c ouv (pare (pqalv, i.e. as it is said in the text, “Every one that calleth on the name of the Lord shall be 
saved.” The question is the same as was put in the beginning of this section: “What? do you speak of salvation 
for them after crucifying the Lord? And this, when you have shown us how fearfully that sin was visited?” This 
question, as a very simple one, he leaves the hearers to answer for themselves, by distinguishing between believers 
and unbelievers, the penitent and the hardened. — The innovator quite alters the sense; “How then say some that 
Christ remitted them their sin?” which makes the next sentence idle. 


72 


Homily V on Acts ii. 14. 


but if he was a Jew, and a Jewish zealot, and after the Gospel, how can the meaning of the 
facts be otherwise than palpable to all men? For you will see the man, how, everywhere, he 
always extols the concerns of the Jews. — There is therefore a hell, O man! and God is 
good. — Aye, did you shudder at hearing these horrors? But these, which take place here, 
are nothing in comparison with what shall be in that world. Once more I am compelled to 
seem harsh, disagreeable, stern. But what can I do? I am set to this: just as a severe school- 
master is set to be hated by his scholars: so are we. For would it not be strange indeed, that, 
while those who have a certain post assigned them by kings do that which is appointed them, 
however disagreeable the task may be, we, for fear of your censure, should leave our appointed 
task undone? Another has a different work. Of you, many have it for their work, to show 
mercy, to act humanely, to be pleasant and agreeable to the persons to whom you are bene- 
factors. But to those to whom we do good, we seem stern and severe, troublesome and dis- 
agreeable. For we do good, not by the pleasure we give, but by the pain we inflict. So it is 
also with the physician: though he indeed is not excessively disagreeable, for the benefit af- 
forded by his art is had immediately; ours hereafter. So again the magistrate is odious to the 
disorderly and seditious; so the legislator is vexatious to them for whom he makes laws. But 
not so he that invites to enjoyment, not so he that prepares public festivities and entertain- 
ments, and puts all the people in garlands: no, these are men that win acceptance, feasting, 
as they do, whole cities with all sorts of spectacles; contributing largely, bearing all the cost. 
And therefore those whom they have treated, requite them for these enjoyments with words 
of welcome and benediction, with hanging ( napanexao\iaxa ) of tapestries, and a blaze of 
lamps, and with wreaths, and boughs, and brilliant garments. Whereas, at the sight of the 
physician, the sick become sad and downcast: at sight of the magistrate, the rioters become 
subdued: no running riot then, no gambolling, except when he also goes over into their 
ranks . 144 Let us see, then, which render the best service to their cities; those who provide 
these festivities, and banquetings, and expensive entertainments, and manifold rejoicings; 
or those who restrain all those doings, bearing before them stocks, scourges, executioners, 
dreaded soldiers, and a voice fraught with much terror: and issuing orders, and making men 
hang down their heads, and with the rod dispersing the idlers in the market-place. Let us 
see, I say; these are the disagreeable, those the beloved: let us see where the gain rests. (AqAei.) 
What comes then of your pleasure-givers? A kind of frigid enjoyment, lasting till the evening, 


144 nAijv chav kockeIvoc; eiq £K£tvr|v pEraarfi njv ra^tv The meaning is obscure: for it may be either, that he 
is displaced from office (peraaTfjvou, pErdaraan; are common in this sense), and makes one of the araoia^ovrec;; 
or, that he lays aside the magistrate and demeans himself to take part in their excesses. (Ta^n; is the expression 
for the attendants of any high official, and may perhaps be taken in that sense here). Erasmus goes wide of the 
text: nec exultant eo quod et ille ad hoc opus ordinatus est: and so Montf. nec exultantes quod ille ad hoc officium 
sit constitutus. 


73 



Homily V on Acts ii. 14. 


and to-morrow vanished; mirth ungoverned, words unseemly and dissolute. And what of 
these? Awe, sobriety, subdued thoughts; reasonableness of mind, an end of idleness; a curb 
on the passions within; a wall of defence, next to God, 145 against assailants from without. 
It is by means of these we have each our property but by those ruinous festivities we dissipate 
it. Robbers indeed have not invaded it, but vainglory together with pleasure acts the part of 
robber. Each sees the robber carrying off everything before his eyes, and is delighted at it! 
A new fashion of robbery, this, to induce people to be glad when one is plundering them! 
On the other part, there is nothing of the kind: but God, as the common Father, has secured 
us as by a wall against all [depredators], both seen and unseen. 146 For, “Take heed,” saith 
He, “that ye do not your alms before men.” (Matt. vi. 1.) The soul learns from the one, [ex- 
cess; 147 from the other] to flee injustice. For injustice consists not merely in grasping at 
more wealth than belongs to us, but in giving to the belly more than its needful sustenance, 
in carrying mirth beyond its proper bounds, and causing it to run into frantic excesses. 
From the one, it learns sobriety; from the other, unchastity. For it is unchastity, not merely 
to have carnal intercourse with women, but even to look upon a woman with unchaste eyes. 
From the one, it learns modesty; from the other, conceited self-importance. For, “All things,” 
says the Apostle, “are lawful for me, but not all things expedient.” (1 Cor. vi. 12.) From the 
one, decent behavior; from the other unseemliness. For, as to the doings in the theatres, I 
pass these. But to let you see that it is not even a pleasure either, but a grief, show me, but 
a single day after the festival, both those who spent their money in giving it, and those who 
were feasted with spectacles: and you shall see them all looking dejected enough, but most 
of all him, your (eksTvov) famous man that has spent his money for it. And this is but fair: 
for, the day before, he delighted the common man, and the common man indeed was in 
high good humor and enjoyment, and rejoiced indeed in the splendid garment, but then 
not having the use of it, and seeing himself stripped of it, he was grieved and annoyed; and 


145 pern tov 0eov, omitted in the modern text. 

146 Horn, in Matt. bod. p. 699. C. Chrys. describes KevoSo^ia (vainglory) in almsgiving, as the thief that runs 
away with the treasure laid up in heaven. And something of this sort seems to have been in his thoughts here, 
where however his meaning is evidently very imperfectly expressed. The texts cited show that £K£l, £keT0£V, 
refer to something more than, as above, good laws and government in general; for here he speaks of the Gospel 
discipline of the inner man. “Where this restraint is, no dissipation of our temporal or spiritual wealth has place: 
for God, as common Father, has raised a wall to keep out all robbers both seen and unseen, from all our posses- 
sions: from the former He guards us, by law and good government; from the latter, by the Gospel prohibition 
of all vainglory: “Take heed that ye do not your alms,” etc. 

147 MavSavei tfwxn evt£O0£v, opp. to £K£i0£v as in the following sentences: £keT0£v atocppoauvr|v pav0av£t, 
£vt£U0£v dKoA.aalav — & 157-k. £Ttt£tK£tav, £vr. rucpov — & 157-k. Koaplorr|ra, £vr. aaxnpoauvriv. Therefore 
either something is wanting: e.g. TtAeove^tav £K£l0£v, or for evt. we must read £K£l0£v. 


74 


Homily V on Acts ii. 14. 


wanted to be the great man, seeing even his own enjoyment to be small compared with 
his. Therefore, the day after, they change places, and now he, the great man, gets the 
larger share in the dejection. 

Now if in worldly matters, amusements are attended with such dissatisfaction, while 
disagreeable things are so beneficial, much more does this hold in things spiritual. Why is 
it that no one quarrels with the laws, but on the contrary all account that matter a common 
benefit? For indeed not strangers from some other quarter, nor enemies of those for whom 
the laws are made, came and made these orders, but the citizens themselves, their patrons, 
their benefactors: and this very thing, the making of laws, is a token of beneficence and 
good-will. And yet the laws are full of punishment and restraint, and there is no such thing 
as law without penalty and coercion. Then is it not unreasonable, that while the expositors 
of those laws are called deliverers, benefactors, and patrons, we are considered troublesome 
and vexatious if we speak of the laws of God? When we discourse about hell, then we bring 
forward those laws: just as in the affairs of the world, people urge the laws of murder, highway 
robbery, and the like, so do we the penal laws: laws, which not man enacted, but the Only- 
Begotten Son of God Himself. Let him that hath no mercy, He says, be punished (Matt, xviii. 
23); for such is the import of the parable. Let him that remembereth injuries, pay the last 
penalty. Let him that is angry without cause, be cast into the fire. Let him that reviles, receive 
his due in hell. If you think these laws which you hear strange, be not amazed. For if Christ 
was not intended to make new laws, why did He come? Those other laws are manifest to 
us; we know that the murderer and adulterer ought to be punished. If then we were meant 
only to be told the same things over again, where was the need of a heavenly Teacher? 
Therefore He does not say, Let the adulterer be punished, but, whoso looketh on with un- 
chaste eyes. And where, and when, the man will receive punishment, He there tells us. And 


148 The old text Kod e(3ouAeto ekeTvoc; 6 dvaAloKtov Kal Tr|v oiKelav euitpaylav piKpav opav rpoc; Tqv ekeTvou, 
evidently requires correction, and the emendation assumed in the translation is, kou e(3. ekeTvoi; eivat (6 avaA. 
may perhaps be rejected as a gloss) kou rqv oiKelav EUTtp. p. optov tt. r. ekeivou. Thus the whole passage, from 
kou 6 pev i5itorfi<;, refers to the 15. or person feasted, and ekeivoc; throughout is the entertainer. The edited text 
has: ’EkeTvoc; 5e 6 avaA. Kal rqv oiKEiav euitp. pnepav opav eSokei tt. r. ekeivou: of which Erasm. makes, Ille 
autem qui sumptus impendit et suam felicitatem parvam cum ea quam ex sumptu habebat conspicere putabat. 
But even if this sense lay in the words, it is not easy to see the connection of the following sentence, Aid touto, 
etc., Montf. translates, Qui vero sumptus fecit, suampree illius felicitate parvam putabat, as if ekeTvoc and ekeivou 
in the same sentence referred to two different and contrasted persons. The meaning of the passage is, As, on the 
day before, the entertainer had to tcAeov rfj<; euSuplaq, it is but fair that on the following day to tcAeov Trjq 
dSuplaq should be transferred to him. This is expressed by Aid touto Tfj uot. avTi5i5oaaiv: which however, 
Erasmus renders, Ideireo sequenti die reddunt sibi vestes iterum: Montf. redduntur vestes. (Perhaps there is an 
allusion to the legal phrase avTiSoaiq. v. Isocrat. nepi avTiS). 


75 


Homily V on Acts ii. 14. 


not in fine public monuments, nor yet somewhere out of sight, 149 did He deposit His laws; 
not pillars of brass did He raise up, and engrave letters thereon, but twelve souls raised He 
up for us, the souls of the Apostles, and in their minds has He by the Spirit inscribed this 
writing. This cite we to you. If this was authorized to Jews, that none might take refuge in 
the plea of ignorance, much more is it to us. But should any say, “I do not hear, therefore 
have no guilt,” on this very score he is most liable to punishment. For, were there no 
teacher, it would be possible to take refuge in this plea; but if there be, it is no longer possible. 
Thus see how, speaking of Jews, the Lord deprives them of all excuse; “If I had not come 
and spoken unto them, they had not had sin:” (John xv. 22): and Paul again, “But I say, have 
they not heard? Nay, but into all the earth went forth their sound.” (Rom. x. 18.) For then 
there is excuse, when there is none to tell the man; but when the watchman sits there, having 
this as the business of his life, there is excuse no longer. Nay, rather, it was the will of Christ, 
not that we should look only upon these written pillars, but that we should ourselves be 
such. But since we have made ourselves unworthy of the writing, at least let us look to those. 
For just as the pillars threaten others, but are not themselves obnoxious to punishment, nor 
yet the laws, even so the blessed Apostles. And observe; not in one place only stands this 
pillar, but its writing is carried round about in all the world. Whether you go among the 
Indians, you shall hear this: whether into Spain, or to the very ends of the earth, there is 
none without the hearing, except it be of his own neglect. Then be not offended, but give 
heed to the things spoken, that ye may be able to lay hold upon the works of virtue, and attain 
unto the eternal blessings in Christ Jesus our Lord, with Whom to the Father and Holy 
Ghost together be glory, power, honor, now and ever, world without end. Amen. 


149 Etc dvaBrjpara ou5e eic; Kpu(35r|v. The modern text has etc vac ou5e etc, Kup[3etc, alluding to the pe- 
culiar form of tables on which the laws of Athens were written. On critical grounds we retain the reading of the 
old text, which, as being the more difficult one, is not likely to have been substituted for the other. Ouk etc 
dvaBrjpara; “not on public monuments for display.” Laws of an Emperor, for instance, engraved on handsome 
monuments, may be called dvaBrjpara 0u5e etc Kpu(35r|v, (also an unusual expression), ‘nor yet where no one 
would see them.’ 


76 


Homily VI on Acts ii. 22. 


Homily VI. 

Acts II. 22 


“Ye men of Israel, hear these my words. ” 

[“Ye men of Israel”] : it is not for flattery that he uses this term; but, as he has borne hard 
upon them, he relaxes a little, and puts them in mind of their great ancestor 150 [Israel] . Here 
again he begins with an introduction, that they may not become excited, now that he is going 
to make express mention to them of Jesus: for in what preceded, there was no reason why 
they should be excited, while the Prophet was the subject of discourse: but the name of Jesus 
would have given offence at the very outset. — And he does not say, “Do as I bid you,” but, 
Hear; as being not at all exacting. And observe how he forbears to speak of the high matters, 
and begins with the very low: “Jesus,” he says: and then straightway mentions the place He 
belonged to, being one which was held in mean estimation: “Jesus of Nazareth”: and does 
not say anything great about Him, nor even such as one would say about a Prophet, so far: 
“Jesus,” he says, “of Nazareth, a man proved (to be) from God among you.” Observe; what 
great matter was this, to say that He was sent from God? 151 For this was the point which 
on all occasions both He and John and the Apostles were studious to show. Thus hear John 
saying: “The same said unto me On whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and abiding 


150 roO TtpOTtaropoc;, A. C. F. D. and Cat. but tou AauiS euKoapux;, B. E. Edd. CEcumenius fell into the same 
mistake and has rou Ttporarcopoc; Aaiu5. But it is evident that Chrys. is commenting on the address v Av5p£<; 
’IapariAran. 

151 "Opa, tioTov r|v touto peya, T ° etitav k. r. X. i.e. “He says as yet ou5ev peya, nothing great, concerning 
Christ: nothing even that would be great if said of an ordinary Prophet. For, observe: Ttotov peya, what sort of 
great thing was it, to say that Christ was sent from God?” In the following sentences Chrys. seems to have been 
scarcely understood by his reporter. His meaning may be thus represented: “And yet, so it is: everywhere in the 
Scriptures we find examples of this remarkable peitoau;: “Christ was sent from God,” seems to be the point most 
studiously inculcated (to aitouSa^opevov): nay, we find it carried to the utmost (p£0’ U7t£p(3oArj<;) in some of 
Christ’s own expressions. And so here: when Peter stands up — he, the leader of the Apostles, the lover of Christ, 
the good shepherd, the man entrusted with the keys of the kingdom of heaven, the man who has received the 
deposit of the Wisdom of the Spirit — after he has subdued the audience by the terrors of the coming judgments, 
has shown that he and his company have received wonderful gifts as foretold by the Prophet, and has made it 
felt that they have a right to be believed: you may well expect after all this that his first word about Christ will 
be something great; that he will certainly launch out boldly into the declaration, He is risen! Only think, though, 
what boldness to say this in the midst of the murderers! — Nothing of the kind. He begins with, “Jesus the Naz- 
arene, a man proved to be from God unto you by signs, etc. which — (He did? no, but) God did by Him, etc. 
Wait awhile, however: the Orator will say all that needs to be said in due time.” 


77 


Homily VI on Acts ii. 22 . 


on him, this is He.” (John i. 33.) But Christ Himself does this to an extreme; Of Myself I am 
not come, He sent Me. (ib. vii. 28.) And everywhere in the Scriptures this seems the point 
most studiously insisted upon. Therefore also this holy leader of the blessed company, the 
lover of Christ, the good shepherd, the man put in trust with the keys of heaven, the man 
who received the Spiritual Wisdom, when he has first subdued the Jews by fear; and has 
shown what great things have been vouchsafed to the disciples, and what a right they have 
to be believed, then first proceeds to speak concerning Him. Only think what boldness it 
was to say it, in the midst of the murderers — that He is risen! And yet he does not all at once 
say, He is risen; but what? — “He came,” says he, “from God: this is manifest by the signs 
which” — he does not yet say, Jesus Himself wrought: but what? — “which God wrought by 
Him in the midst of you.” He calls themselves as witnesses. “A man proved (to be sent) from 
God among you, by miracles and wonders and signs, which God wrought by him in the 
midst of you, as also ye yourselves know.” Then, having fallen upon the mention of that 
their sacrilegious outrage, observe how he endeavors to quit them of the crime: “Him,” he 
says, “being by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God delivered up”: (v. 23) 
[adding however,] “ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:” for though 
it was predetermined, still they were murderers. [“By the determinate counsel and fore- 
knowledge of God:”] all but using the same words as Joseph did; just as he said to his brethren; 
“Be not angry one with another by the way: God sent me hither.” (Gen. xlv. 5, 24.) It is God’s 
doing. “What of us, then?” (it might be said,) “it was even well done on our part.” That they 

i co 

may not say this, therefore it is that he adds, “By wicked hands ye have crucified and slain.” 
Here then he hints at Judas; while at the same time he shows them that it was not from any 
strength of theirs, and would not have been, if He had not Himself permitted it: it was God 
that delivered Him up. He has transferred the evil entire upon the head of Judas, now already 
parted from them; for he it was that delivered Him over to them by the kiss. Or, “By wicked 
hands,” refers to the soldiers: for neither is it simply, “Ye have slain,” but, By wicked men 
ye have done this. 154 And observe how everywhere they make it of great importance that 

152 Ei yap xai wpiapevov f|v, <pr|aiv, opwq avSpocpovoi ijaav. B. C. after araxAA. tou eyKAfjpatoi;, and before 
the text. As the sentence so placed seemed to make Chrys. contradict himself, the other mss. and Edd. before 
Ben. omit it. Something is wanting, which perhaps may be supplied from CEcumen. 'AXXa kou ditaAAdaawv 
ouk acplijaiv auroix; Ttavrr| rou £yKA.tjparo<;. ’Etidyei yap, on 5ta xeipwv dvopwv avetABre. 

153 In v. 23, the preferable reading is 5ta xeipoi; dvopwv, “through the hand of lawless men,” instead of 5ta 
Xeipwv dvopwv of the Text. Recep. So A, B, C, D, Tisch. W. and H., Lach. Treg. R.V. This reading is also to be 
preferred in accordance with Bengel’s first rule of text-criticism — Lectio difficilior principatum tenet. — G.B.S. 

154 The confusion may be cleared up by supposing that Chrys. here commented upon the words 5ia xeipwv 
dvopwv as admitting of a double connection: viz.: with ekSotov Aa(36vt£<; and with Ttpoait. dv£iA.£T£. In the 
former, it refers to Judas: while at the same time, it is shown that of themselves they had no power against Him. 
He was delivered up by the predestination and will of God, by means of the wicked hands of Judas; upon whom 

78 


Homily VI on Acts ii. 22. 


the Passion should first be confessed. Whom God Raised Up (v. 24), says he. This was the 
great thing; and observe how he sets it in the middle of his discourse: for the former matters 
had been confessed; both the miracles and the signs and the slaying — “Whom God,” says 
he, “raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should 
be kept in its power.” It is something great and sublime that he has hinted at here. For the 
expression, “It was not possible,” even itself is that of one assigning something. 155 It shows 
that death itself in holding Him had pangs as in travail, and was sore bestead: 156 whereas, 
by pains, or, travail-pangs, of death, the Old Testament means danger and disaster: and that 


(already gone to his doom) the evil is shifted entire. But again, as £K5orovis not put simply and without addition 
(omAnx;), so neither (ou5e) is avelAere: but “by wicked hands ye slew,” i.e. by the soldiers. 

155 The text seems to be corrupt: real auto 5i5ovro(; eanv rlSencvuaiv on. B. omits eanv ri. Perhaps Kai 
auto is derived from an abbreviation of KpareTa0ai aurov: and 5i5ovro<; eanv tr may be, “is (the expression) 
of one assigning something, i.e. some special prerogative to Him:” or, possibly, “For the expression, Ka0on ouk 
r|v 5uvarov even of itself implies the granting of something (in His case):” viz. as a postulate. E. Kai aurov 
5i5ovra epcpalvei Karaaxelv Kai on, i.e. “that it was even He that gave death the power to hold Him:” this, 
which is adopted by Edd. is, however, not a various reading, but only an attempt to restore the passage. CEcumen. 
gives no assistance: he has only, 5ia 5e rou, Ka0on ouk f|v 5uv. aurov Kpar., ro peyaAelov auroO itaplarriai, 
Kai on ouKen aTto0vr)aK£i. In the next sentence E. and Edd. have: “For by ‘pains of death’ Scripture is everywhere 
wont to express ‘danger:’” but CEcumen. and Cat. agree with the old reading, r| IlaAaia. Possibly the meaning 
of the whole passage may be somewhat as follows. “It is something great and sublime that Peter has darkly hinted 
in saying, ‘it was not possible that He should be holden of it.’ And the very expression Ka0on implies that there 
is something to be thought of (comp. Caten. in 1). Then, in the Old. Test., the expression tbSTvec; 0avarou means 
pains in which death is the agent; but here they are the pangs inflicted upon death itself, travailing in birth with 
Christ ‘the first-begotten from the dead.’ It shows then both that death could not endure to hold Him, and, that 
Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more. For the assertion, etc. But then, without giving them time to 
ponder upon the meaning of what he has darkly hinted, he goes off to the Prophet,” etc. — On the expression 
tbSTvac; Auetv Mr. Field, Index to Horn, in Matt. s. v., remarks, that “it is said sometimes of the childbearing 
woman herself, as p. 118. B., sometimes of the child born, as p. 375. A., sometimes of the person aiding in the 
delivery, as Job xxxix, 2. Hence the obscure passage Acts ii, 34 is to be explained. See Theophylact in 1.” 

1 56 It is noteworthy that this interpretation of tbSTvac; rou 0avarou (24) is exactly that of Meyer who explains 
thus: “Death travailed in birth-throes even until the dead was raised again. With this event these pangs ceased, 
they were loosed; and because God had made Christ alive, God has loosed the pangs of death.” Other interpretations 


are: ( 1 ) The snares or bands of death, on the ground that d>5Tve<; is used in the lxx. to translate the Hebrew i PDFl 
(e.g. Ps. xviii. 5), which has this meaning. So Olsh. (2) That the pains of Jesus connected with the whole experience 
of death are meant. He is popularly conceived as enduring these pains until the resurrection when God loosed 


79 


Homily VI on Acts ii. 22 . 


He so rose as never more to die. For the assertion, “Seeing that it was not possible that He 
should be holden of it,” means this, that His rising was not common to the rest. Then, 
however, before their thoughts can enter at all into his meaning, he brings David upon them, 
an authority which sets aside all human reasoning. “For David saith (with reference) to 
Him.” (v. 25.) And observe how, once more, the testimony is lowly. For therefore he begins 
the citation further up, with the matters of lowlier import: therefore was death not in the 

number of grievous things [because], says he, “I foresaw the Lord always before my face, 
that He is on my right hand that I should not be moved:” (v. 25-27) and, “that Thou wilt 
not leave my soul in hell.” Then, having finished the citation from the Prophet, he adds; 
“Men and brethren.” (v. 29.) When he is about to say anything great, he uses this opening 
address, to rouse and to conciliate them. “Let me be allowed,” he says, “to speak freely to 
you of the patriarch David.” Remarkable lowliness, in a case where he was giving no hurt, 
nor was there any reason why the hearers should be angry. For he did not say, This is not 
said concerning David, but concerning the Christ. But in another point of view: by his rev- 
erential expression towards the blessed David, he awed them; speaking of an acknowledged 
fact as if it were a bold thing to say, and therefore begging them to pardon him for saying 
it. And thereupon his expression is not simply “concerning David,” but “concerning the 
patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried:” he does not also say, “and is not risen 
again,” but in another way (though this too would have been no great thing to say), “And 
his sepulchre is with us unto this day,” he has said what comes to the same thing. Then — and 
even so he does not come to the mention of Christ, but what next? — he goes on with his 
encomium upon David, “Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that with an oath God 
had sworn unto him.” (v. 30.) But this he says, that were it but on account of the honor 
shown to David, and the descent from him, they may accept what is said concerning Christ’s 
resurrection, as seeing that it would be an injury to the prophecy, and a derogating from 
(rrjc; etc; aurouc; ripfjc;) their honor, if this were not the fact. “And knowing,” he says, “that 
with an oath God had sworn unto him” — he does not say simply “promised” — “of the fruit 
of his loins after the flesh to raise up Christ, to seat Him upon his throne.” Observe how he 
has again only hinted at what is sublime. For now that he has soothed them with his expres- 


them, the conception being that he was under their power and constraint. We prefer this view. So Lechler, 
Gloag, Hackett. — G.B.S. 

157 i.e. The former part of the passage cited, down to, “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell,” as far as the words 
go, is no more than David might say in reference to himself, or any other saint: viz. he set God always before 
his face, etc. therefore (5ta rouro, referring to v. 26. 5ta rouro eucpp.) death was not in the number of things that 
cause grief. And St. Peter instead of going at once to that in the prophecy which is peculiar to Christ, with wise 
management begins with what is less exalted, are etaaYWYiKtorepwv Xoytxiv Seopevou;, CEcumen. — For 5ta 
rouro ou rtov Aurouvrwv 6 Savaroc;, E. and Edd. have tva 5et^r|, on ou. . .“to show that death,” etc. 


80 


Homily VI on Acts ii. 22. 


sion, he confidently adds this: The prophet [saith it] “of His resurrection, that neither was 
His soul left in hell, nor did His flesh see corruption.” (v. 31.) This again is wonderful: it 
shows that His resurrection was not like that of other men. For though death laid hold on 
Him, yet it did not its own work then. — And, as regards the sin, he has spoken of that, covertly 
and darkly; of the punishment, he forbore to add anything; but that they had slain Him, this 
he has spoken out; for the rest he now comes to the sign given by God. And when it is once 
proved, that He, the slain, was just, was dear to God, then, though thou be silent of the 
punishment, be sure that he which did the sin will condemn himself more than ever thou 
canst condemn him. So then, that he refers all to the Father, is in order that they may receive 
what is said: and that assertion, “Not possible,” he fetches in from the prophecy. Well then, 
let us again look over what has been said. 

“Jesus of Nazareth, a man proved (to be sent) from God unto you.” (Recapitulation of 
v. 22-31): one, of whom, by reason of His works, there can be no doubt; but who, on the 
contrary, is demonstrated. Thus also Nicodemus said, “No man can do these miracles which 
Thou doest — By miracles, and wonders, and signs which God wrought by Him in the midst 
of you” (John iii. 2): not secretly. Setting out from facts notorious to those whom he was 
addressing, he then comes to things hidden. Thereupon [in saying, “By the determinate 
counsel and foreknowledge of God,”] (v. 23) he shows that it was not because they had the 
power to do it, and that there was a wisdom and a Divine arrangement in the event, seeing 
it was from God. He rapidly passes over the unpleasant part, [adding, “Whom God raised 
up,” etc.] (v. 24). For it is always a point of great importance with them to show that He was 
once dead. Though ye should deny it, says he, (exeivoi) those (present) will bear witness to 
the fact. [“Having loosed the pangs of death.”] He that gives Death trouble, may much more 
give trouble to them that crucified Him: however, nothing of the kind is here said, as that 
He had power to slay you. Meanwhile, let us also learn thus to hold. For one that is in 
pain like a woman in travail, does not hold the thing held, and is not active but passive; and 
makes haste to cast it off. And it is well said: “For David saith in reference to him” (v. 25); 
that you may not refer that saying to the Prophet. — [“Therefore being a Prophet, and 
knowing,” etc.] (v. 30, 31.) Do you observe how he now interprets the prophecy, and does 


158 retoi; pav0avwp£v Kai f|p£i<; oura) xarexeiv. As the text stands, this can only mean, “And here by the bye 
let us also learn how to hold fast Christ; not to hold Him with pain, like one in travail-pangs, who therefore 
cannot hold fast, but is in haste to be delivered,” etc. But this can hardly have been St. Chrysostom’s meaning. 
Something seems to be omitted after kou ripeu; or ourw. — Edd. teux; 5e pav0avop£v Kai npeR 5ta rwv £tpr|p£vu>v 
rt £ari to k(XT£X£w. If this is: “What is the meaning of the expression KOCTExew, the emphatic Kai f|p£l<; is super- 
fluous; and besides, the word kotexew does not occur in the text commented upon. CEcum. and the Catena give 
no help. 


81 


Homily VI on Acts ii. 22 . 


not 159 give it bare of comment? How did He “seat Him upon” David’s “throne?” For the 
kingdom after the Spirit is in heaven. Observe how, along with the resurrection, he has also 
declared the kingdom in the fact of His rising again. He shows that the Prophet was under 
constraint: for the prophecy was concerning Him. Why does he say, not, Concerning His 
kingdom (it was a great matter), but “Concerning His resurrection?” And how did He seat 
Him upon his (David’s) throne? Why, He reigns as King over Jews also, yea, what is much 
more, over them that crucified Him. “For His flesh saw no corruption.” This seems to be 
less than resurrection, but it is the same thing. 

“This Jesus” — observe how he does not call Him otherwise — “hath God raised up; 
whereof all we are witnesses. Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted” (v. 33, 34): 
again he takes refuge with the Father, and yet it had been enough to say what precedes: but 
he knows what a great point this is. Here he has hinted at the Ascension also, and that Christ 
is in heaven: but neither does he say this openly. “And having received,” says he, “the 
promise of the Holy Ghost.” Observe how, in the beginning of his discourse, he does not 
say that Jesus Himself had sent It, but the Father: now, however, that he has mentioned His 
signs and the things done to Him by the Jews, and has spoken of His resurrection, he boldly 
introduces what he has to say about these matters, again adducing themselves as witnesses 
by both senses: [“He hath shed forth this, which ye do see and hear.”] And of the resurrection 
he has made continual mention, but of their outrageous deed he has spoken once for all. 
“And having received the promise of the Holy Ghost.” This again is great. “The promise,” 
he says; because [promised] before His Passion. Observe how he now makes it all His [“He 
hath poured forth this”], covertly making a great point. For if it was He that poured it forth, 
it is of Him that the Prophet has spoken above, “In the last days I will pour forth of My 
Spirit on My Servants, and on Mine handmaids, and I will do wonders in the heaven above. 
(supra, v. 17.) Observe what he secretly puts into it! But then, because it was a great thing, 
he again veils it with the expression of “His having received of the Father.” He has spoken 
of the good things fulfilled, of the signs; has said, that He is king, the point that touched 
them; has said, that it is He that gives the Spirit. ( Arist . Rhet. 1. 3.) (For, however much a 
person may say, if it does not issue in something advantageous, he speaks to no purpose.) 
Just as John: “The same,” says he, “shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.” (Matt. iii. 11.) 
And it shows that the Cross not only did not make Him less, but rendered Him even more 
illustrious, seeing that of old God promised it to Him, but now has given it. Or [it maybe], 
“the promise” which He promised to us. He so foreknew it about to be, and has given it to 


159 Edd. Kod yupvtjv rl0r|ai 5r|A.cov tick;. “And gives it bare (of comment), showing.” Montf. mistranslates 
yupvijv ri0, nudam exponat, and notices the old reading (A. B. C ) with the remark, Unus Codex Ttpocp. ou 
yupvryv. Minus recte. But Chrys. is now commenting on v. 30, 31. “Above, St. Peter gave the prophecy by itself: 
now he adds his own exposition and reasoning, “Being therefore a Prophet.” etc. 


82 


Homily VI on Acts ii. 22 . 


us greater after the resurrection. And, “hath poured it out,” he says; not 160 requiring wor- 
thiness: and not simply gave, but with abundance. Whence 161 does this appear? Henceforth 
after the mention of His giving the Spirit, he confidently speaks also of His ascension into 
heaven; and not only so, but again adducing the witness, and reminding them of that Person 
concerning Whom Christ once spake. (Matt. xxii. 43) “For not David,” says he “ascended 
into the heavens, (v. 34.) Here he no longer speaks in lowly phrase, having the confidence 

which results from the things said; nor does he say, “Be it permitted me to speak,” or the 
like: “But he saith himself; The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, until 
I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” Now if He be David’s Lord, much more shall they 
not disdain Him. “Sit thou on My right hand;” he has set the whole matter here; “until I 
make Thine enemies Thy footstool:” here also he has brought upon them a great terror, just 
as in the beginning he showed what He does to His friends, what to his enemies. And again, 
as to the act of subjugation, not to provoke unbelief, he ascribes it to the Father. Since then 
these are great things that he has uttered, he again brings his discourse down to lowly matters. 
“Let therefore,” he says, “the whole house of Israel know assuredly: i.e. question ye not, nor 
doubt ye: then also in the tone of command it follows; “that God hath made Him both 
Lord” — this he says from David — “and Christ,” (v. 36), this from the Psalm: For when it 

would have been rightly concluded, “Let therefore the whole house of Israel know assuredly 
that” He sitteth on the right hand of God, this, which would have been great, he forbears, 
and brings in a different matter which is much more humble, and the expression “Hath 
made;” i.e. hath ordained: so that there is nothing about (oucuwau;) communication of 
substance here, but the expression relates to this which has been mentioned. “Even this Jesus, 
Whom ye crucified.” He does well to end with this, thereby agitating their minds. For when 
he has shown how great it is, he has then exposed their daring deed, so as to show it to be 


160 ’E^exee, cpqaiv, ouk afjwpa ijrycwv, Kai oux aitAcoq. Edd. ’E^., cp. ’EvrauSa to afjwpa epcpaivet, Kai on 
oux ctTtAux;. “Here he intimates the dignity: and that,” etc. But the meaning is, “He poured it forth, not requiring 
merit: i.e. not giving here and there to the most deserving, but as the phrase implies, with unsparing liberality.” 
perd SatJnAeiac. N. p£0’ uTtepfSoArji;. 

161 tio0£V toOto; Edd. “Wherefore also to prove this very thing, he adds what follows.” The connection is, 
“He has shed forth. How so? It must be He; for not David ascended,” etc. 

162 Here five of our mss. have p£0’ UTt£p(3oAfj<;, “hyperbolically:” but the reading of E. p£0’ UTtoaroArjc is attested 
by CEcumen. and the Catena. 

163 i.e. the expression “Lord” is derived from David’s, “My Lord:” the expression “Christ,” or rather Kai 
Xptarov 6 0£O<; eiiolqa £v, is from the Psalm: meaning perhaps the second Psalm. Edd. have, “this he says from 
David and from the Psalm,” after the text. 


83 


Homily VI on Acts ii. 22 . 


greater, and to possess them with terror. For men are not so much attracted by benefits as 
they are chastened by fear. 164 

But the admirable and great ones, and beloved of God, need none of these motives: 
men, such as was Paul: not of the kingdom, not of hell, made he account. For this is indeed 
to love Christ, this to be no hireling, nor to reckon it a matter of trafficking and trading, but 
to be indeed virtuous, and to do all for the love of God. (Rom. ix. 3.) Then what tears does 
it not deserve, when, owing so large a measure, we do not even like traders seek the kingdom 
of heaven! He promises us so great things, and not even so is He worthy to be heard? What 
can come up to this enmity! 165 And yet, they are mad after money-making, though it be 
with enemies, though it be with slaves, though it be with persons most hostile to them, that 
they come in contact, though it be with persons utterly evil, if only they expect that they 
shall be enabled by their means to make money, they will do everything, will flatter, and be 
obsequious, and make themselves slaves, and will esteem them more to be revered than all 
men, to get some advantage out of them: for the hope of money does not allow them to give 
a thought to any such considerations as these. But the Kingdom is not so powerful as money 
is; nay, rather, not in the smallest proportion as powerful. For 166 it is no ordinary Being 
that promises: but this is greater than even the Kingdom itself that we receive it from such 
a Giver! But now the case is the same as if a king, wishing, after ten thousand other benefits, 
to make us his heirs and coheirs with his son [should be despised] : while some captain of a 
band of robbers, who has done ten thousand wrongs to us and to our parents, and is himself 
fraught with ten thousand wickednesses, and has utterly marred our honor and our welfare, 


164 The two Old Test. pp. (Joel ii. 28-32; Ps. xvi. 8-11) which occur in this chapter are quoted from the Lxx., 
the former freely, the latter with great exactness. The following peculiarities of phraseology are noticeable in the 
first passage. (1) “In the last days,” more definite expression for the Heb. and lxx. “afterward.” (2) The partitive 
expression: “I will pour out of my Spirit,” is after the lxx. vs. the original which reads: “I will pour out my spirit.” 
(3) The phrases: “saith God” and “they shall prophesy” (17, 18) are added to both Heb. and lxx. (4) “Vapor” is 
from lxx. for Heb. “columns.” (5) If we read kou eitupavq at the end of v. 20 (as Mey., W. and H.) it is from the 
lxx. an inaccurate trans. of Hebrew for “fearful,” occasioned by misunderstanding on the part of the Seventy of 
the derivation of the Heb. word. The second pp. follows the lxx. exactly and in several deviations from the ori- 
ginal. — G.B.S. 

165 Alluding to the Psalm above cited, “Until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” 

166 In the modern text the connection is supplied, and the thought expanded. “And yet neither is it any or- 
dinary being that promises it: but One who is beyond comparison greater than the Kingdom itself. Now when 
the promise is a Kingdom, and God the Giver thereof, it is a great thing, the very receiving from such a Giver. 

84 


Homily VI on Acts ii. 22 . 


should, on presenting a single penny, receive our worship. God promises a Kingdom, and 
is despised: the Devil helps us to hell, and he is honored! Here God, there Devil. But let us 
see the difference of the tasks enjoined. For if there were none of these considerations in 
the case: if it were not, here God, there Devil; not, here one helping to a kingdom, there to 
a hell: the nature itself of the tasks enjoined were sufficient to induce us to comply with the 
former. For what does each enjoin? The one, the things which make glorious; the other 
the things which put to shame: one, the things which involve in ten thousand calamities 
and disgraces; the other, the things which have with them abundant refreshment. For look: 
the one saith, “Learn ye of Me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto 
your souls.” (Matt. xi. 29): the other saith, Be thou savage, and ungentle, and passionate, 
and wrathful, and more a wild beast than a man. Let us see which is more useful, which, I 
pray you, more profitable. “Speak not of this,” say you. * * * But consider that he is the 
devil: above all indeed, if that be shown: there is need also to undergo toils, and, on the 
other hand, the prize of victory will be greater. For not he that enjoins easy tasks is the kind 
(KpSeptov) benefactor, but he that enjoins what is for our good. Since fathers also enjoin 
disagreeable tasks; but for this 169 they are fathers: and so again do masters to slaves: but 


167 In the original the pronouns are ekeTvoc; (God), ouroq (the Devil; for which however our mss. have ou 
ra and aura): then inversely, EKEtvoq (the Devil), ouroq (God). The modern text reduces the antithesis to regu- 
larity by transposing the first and second clause, with ekeTvoc;, ouroc;, in each member. Mr. Field, however, Horn, 
in Matt. 709 B. not. has remarked, that St. Chrys. is negligent in his use of these pronouns, and this passage may 
be added to those cited. 

168 "iStopev ri xpnoiliu>t£pov, xi 5od (5e, A. N.) lixpEAtpcorEpov. (Here N. adds: Mi) rouro 5u>pev xi 
XpqoipwrEpov ri 5 e cixpEAtpwrepov) Mi) rouro cpqoiv einnc' aAA’ evvoqaov on 5id(3oA6i; eariv paAiara p£v 
av ekeTvo SeixSfi' 5el Kai Ttovouq UTtoarrjvai teal TtdA.iv, k. r. A. The addition in N. is perhaps the result of unin- 
tentional repetition. If meant for emendation, it supposes an antithesis of xpqo. and tbcpEAipwrepov: “let us 
grant which is more serviceable (to others): but (the question is) which is more profitable (to one’s self).” This, 
however, is not what the context requires. Rather it seems that something is omitted after Etitriq: e.g. aAA’ i'Stopev 
rl EUKoAwrepov, “But let us see which is more easy.” In the following sentence, it is not clear whether paAiara 
p£v belongs to 5eT Kai it. u. “of course, if the former appear to be the case, it is necessary,” etc. or, to the preceding 
clause, as in the translation: “above all (consider that it is the devil who gives the bidding), if that appear to be 
the case (i.e. that it is the easier of the two): it is needful,” etc. — Edd. “But not only this, but bethink you that he 
indeed is the devil: for above all if that be shown, again the prize of victory shall be greater.” 

169 5ia rouro, i. e. by enjoining ra auptpepovra, although tpopriKCt, are fathers and masters shown to be truly 
such, whereas kidnappers who steal away children, seduce them by promising pleasure, and AupEtoveq, masters 
who ruin their servants, let them have their own way. — Morel. Ben. ’EkeTvoi 5e avSpait. Kai Aup. Kai itavra ra 
Evdvrta: “but the others are kidnappers and destroyers, and all that is contrary (to fathers and masters).” Savil. 
as above. 


85 


Homily VI on Acts ii. 22. 


kidnappers and destroyers (Aupctovsc;) on the other hand, do just the reverse. And 170 yet 
that the commands of Christ are attended with a pleasure, is manifest from that saying. For 
to what sort do you take the passionate man to belong, and to what the forbearing and meek? 

I n-\ 

Does not the soul of the (erceivou) one seem to be in a kind of solitary retreat, enjoying 
exceeding quiet; while that of (toutou) the other is like a market-place and tumult and the 
midst of cities, where great is the clamor of those going out, the noise of camels, mules, 
asses: of men shouting loud to those that meet them, that they may not be trodden under 
foot: and again, of silver-beaters, of braziers, of men thrusting and pushing this way and 
that and some overborne, some overbearing? But the soul of (rourouj the former is like 
some mountain-top, with its delicate air, its pure sunshine, its limpid gushing fountains, its 
multitude of charming flowers, while the vernal meads and gardens put on their plumage 
of shrubs and flowers, and glance with rifling waters: and if any sound is heard there, it is 
sweet, and calculated to affect the ear with a sense of much delight. For either the warbling 
birds perch on the outermost spray of the branching trees, and cicadas, nightingales and 
swallows, blended in one harmony, perform a kind of concerted music; or the zephyr gently 
stirring the leaves, draws whistling tones from pines and firs, resembling oft the notes of 
the swan: and roses, violets, and other flowers, gently swayed, and (Kuavi'(ovra) dark-dim- 
pling, show like a sea just rippled over with gentle undulations. Nay, many are the images 
one might find. Thus, when one looks at the roses, one shall fancy that he beholds in them 
the rainbow; in the violets a waving sea; in the lilies, the sky. But not by the spectacle 
alone, and the beholding, does such an one then cause delight: but also in the very body of 
him that looks to the meadow, rather it refreshes him, and causes him to breathe freely, so 


170 nAtjv on Kori f|5ovr)v eyet, SrjAov evceTSev. We have supplied the interpretation in the translation. ’Ek£T0£v, 
i.e. from that saying, “Come unto Me,” etc. D. has £vr£U0£V: i.e. “is manifest from the following consideration.” 

171 Here is another instance of the negligent use of the pronouns ekeTvoc; and ouro<; noticed above (note 1). 
In the modern text this is altered, besides other changes intended as improvements upon the ornate description 
following. We have retained the original text throughout. 

172 Ou trj 0£& 139- 5e povov ou5e rfj ovJ>a tepitn (Sav. repitovro av) tore 6 rotouroi;, aAAa teat (ev B. C ) rw 
atopari aurw rou itpoc; rov Aetpwva opwvroc;, (too tt. r. X. 6. om. Sav. with full stop at autw., etcetvov (yap add. 
B. Sav.) paAAov avtr|ai K. r. X. Savile’s reading, adopted by Ben. rests on the sole authority of the New College 
ms. and is manifestly a correction, as the Paris Editor remarks. (This ms. has the clause roo....6pU)VTO<;, but 
dotted for correction or omission, and the yap is added by a later hand.) But the passage seems to be incurably 
corrupt and only so much of the sense can be guessed at, that the delight is said not only to affect the eye, but 
to be felt through the whole frame of the beholder. 


86 



Homily VI on Acts ii. 22. 


that he thinks himself more in heaven than on earth. There is withal a sound of a different 
kind, when water from the mountain- steep, borne by its own force through ravines gently 
plashes over its pebbly bed with lulling noise, and so relaxes our frame with the pleasurable 
sensations, as quickly to draw over our eyes the soft languor of slumber. You have heard 
the description with pleasure: perhaps also it has made you enamored of solitude. But sweeter 
far than this solitude is the soul * * of the long-suffering. For it was not for the sake of de- 
scribing a meadow, nor for the sake of making a display of language, that we have broached 
this similitude: but the object was, that, seeing how great is the delight of the long suffering, 
and how, by converse with a long suffering man, one would be far more both delighted and 
benefited, than by frequenting such spots, ye may follow after such men. For when not even 
a breath of violence proceeds from such a soul, but mild and engaging words, then indeed 
does that gentle softness of the zephyr find its counterpart: entreaties also, devoid of all ar- 
rogance, but forming the resemblance to those winged warblers, — how is not this far better? 
For not the body is fanned by the soft breeze of speech; no, it refreshes our souls heated 
and glowing. A physician, by ever so great attention, could not so speedily rid a man of the 
fever, as a patient man would cool, by the breath of his own words, a person who was pas- 
sionate and burning with wrath. And why do I speak of a physician? Not even iron, made 
red-hot and dipped into water, so quickly parts with its heat, as does the passionate man 
when he comes in contact with the soul of the long-suffering. But as, if it chance that singing 
birds find their way into the market, they go for nothing there, just so is it with our precepts 
when they light upon souls addicted to wrathful passions. Assuredly, sweeter is gentleness 
than bitterness and frowardness. — Well, but the one was God’s bidding, the other the devil’s. 
Do you see that it was not for nothing that I said, even if there were no devil or God in the 
case, the things enjoined would be enough in themselves to (dnoarfjoai) revolt us? For the 
one is both agreeable to himself, and serviceable to others, the other displeasing to himself, 
and hurtful to others. Nothing is more unpleasant than a man in a passion, nothing more 
noisome, more odious, more shocking, as also nothing more pleasing than one who knows 
not what it is to be in a passion. Better dwell with a wild beast than with a passionate man. 
For the beast, when once tamed, abides by its law; but the man, no matter how often you 
have tamed him, again turns wild, unless 174 however he should of himself settle down into 
some such habit (of gentleness). 


173 aXXa 4>uxct<; ocvtr| 0 W 0£ppouvop£vr| Kai ijeouaa. (0£ouaa A.) The latter words, “heated and glowing,” as 
manifestly unsuitable to aupa are omitted in the modern text. They seem to be a fragment of a sentence, describing 
the heat of fever, or of passion. 

174 jtAf|v et pf| £t<; £^tv Eaurov rtva rotaurr|v KaracrnjaEtE. Edd. aita^ £t<; £xin....Karaarrjaa<;: “having settled 
himself down into some such habit.” But the old reading is preferable. “You may pacify him again and again, 
but the fit is subdued for the time, not the temper changed. There will be a fresh outbreak by and bye, unless 
indeed by self-discipline (eaurov tear.) he bring himself into a habit,” etc. 


87 



Homily VI on Acts ii. 22. 


For as a bright sunny day and winter with all its gloom, so are the soul of the angry and 
that of the gentle. However, let us at present look not to the mischievous consequences 
resulting to others, but to those which affect the persons themselves: though indeed it is 
also no slight mischief (to one’s self) to cause ill to another, for the present, however, let that 
be the consideration. What executioner with his lash can so lacerate the ribs, what red-hot 
lancets (ofkAfoKOi) ever so pierced the body, what madness can so dispossess a man of his 
natural reason, as anger and rage do? I know many instances of persons engendering diseases 
by giving loose to anger: and the worst of fevers are precisely these. But if they so injure the 
body, think of the soul. For do not argue that you do not see the mischief, but rather consider, 
if that which is the recipient of the malignant passion is so hurt, what must be the hurt sus- 
tained by that which engenders it! Many have lost their eyes, many have fallen into most 
grievous disease. Yet he that bears bravely, shall endure all things easily. But, however, both 
such are the troublesome tasks the devil enjoins, and the wages he assigns us for these is 
hell. He is both devil and foe to our salvation, and we rather do his bidding than Christ’s, 
Saviour as He is, and Benefactor and Defender, and speaking as He does such words, which 
are both sweeter, and more reverend, and more profitable and beneficial, and are both to 
ourselves and to those who live in our company the greatest of blessings. Nothing worse 
than anger, my beloved, nothing worse than unseasonable wrath. It will not have any long 
delay; it is a quick, sharp passion. Many a time has a mere word been blurted out in anger, 
which needs for its curing a whole lifetime, and a deed been done which was the ruin of the 
man for life. For the worst of it is this, that in a little moment, and by one act, and by a single 
word, full off has it cast us out from the possession of eternal good, and brought to nought 
a world of pains. Wherefore I beseech you to do all you can to curb this savage beast. Thus 
far, however, I have spoken concerning meekness and wrath; if one should take in hand to 
treat of other opposites, as covetousness and the mad passion for glory, contrasted with 
contempt of wealth and of glory; intemperance with sobriety; envy with benevolence; and 
to marshal them each against its opposite, then one would know how great the difference. 
Behold how from the very things enjoined it is plainly shown, that the one master is God, 
the other the devil! Why then, let us do God’s bidding, and not cast ourselves into bottomless 
pits; but while there is time, let us wash off all that defiles the soul, that we may attain unto 
the eternal blessings, through the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to 
the Father and Holy Ghost together be glory, power, honor, now and ever, and world without 
end. Amen. 


88 



Homily VII on Acts ii. 37. 


Homily VII. 

Acts II. 37 

“Now when they heard these words (E.V. ‘this,’) they were pricked in their heart, and said 

unto Peter and to the rest of the Apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 

Do you see what a great thing gentleness is? More than any vehemence, it pricks our 
hearts, inflicts a keener wound. For as in the case of bodies which have become callous, the 
man that strikes upon them does not affect the sense so powerfully, but if he first mollify 
them and make them tender, then he pierces them effectually; so in this instance also, it is 
necessary first to mollify. But that which softens, is not wrath, not vehement accusation, 
not personal abuse; it is gentleness. The former indeed rather aggravate the callousness, this 
last alone removes it. If then you are desirous to reprove any delinquent, approach him with 
all possible mildness. For see here; he gently reminds them of the outrages they have com- 
mitted, adding no comment; he declares the gift of God, he goes on to speak of the grace 
which bore testimony to the event, and so draws out his discourse to a still greater length. 
So they stood in awe of the gentleness of Peter, in that he, speaking to men who had crucified 
his Master, and breathed murder against himself and his companions, discoursed to them 
in the character of an affectionate father and teacher. Not merely were they persuaded; they 
even condemned themselves, they came to a sense of their past behavior. For he gave no 
room for their anger to be roused, and darken their judgment, but by means of humility he 
dispersed, as it were, the mist and darkness of their indignation, and then pointed out to 
them the daring outrage they had committed. For so it is; when we say of ourselves that we 
are injured, the opposite party endeavor to prove that they have not done the injury; but 
when we say, we have not been injured, but have rather done the wrong, the others take the 
contrary line. If, therefore, you wish to place your enemy (eiq ayojva) in the wrong, beware 
of accusing him; nay (dyojviocu), plead for him, he will be sure to find himself guilty. There 
is a natural spirit of opposition in man. Such was the conduct of Peter. He did not accuse 
them harshly; on the contrary, he almost endeavored to plead for them, as far as was possible. 
And this was the very reason that he penetrated into their souls. You will ask, where is the 
proof that they were pricked? In their own words; for what say they? “Men and brethren, 
what shall we do?” Whom they had called deceivers, they call “brethren:” not that hereby 
they put themselves on an equality with them, but rather by way of attracting their brotherly 

1 nr 

affection and kindness: and besides, because the Apostles had deigned to call them by 


175 This is strangely rendered by Ben. At alioquin, postquam illos sic appellare dignati fuerant, et dixerant. 
Erasmus rightly, Et aliter: quoniam illi eos primum ita appellare dignati fuerunt. CEcumen. “And because Peter 
in the beginning of his discourse had so addressed them, hence they themselves had a handle for so addressing 
the Apostles.” 


89 


Homily VII on Acts ii. 37. 


this title. And, say they, “What shall we do?” They did not straightway say, Well then, we 
repent; but they surrendered themselves to the disciples. Just as a person on the point of 
shipwreck, upon seeing the pilot, or in sickness the physician, would put all into his hands, 
and do his bidding in everything; so have these also confessed that they are in extreme peril, 
and destitute of all hope of salvation. They did not say, How shall we be saved? but, “What 
shall we do?” Here again Peter, though the question is put to all, is the man to answer. “Re- 
pent,” says he, “and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ.” (v. 38.) He 
does not yet say, Believe, but, “Be baptized every one of you.” For this they received in 
baptism. Then he speaks of the gain; “For the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift 
of the Holy Ghost.” If you are to receive a gift, if baptism conveys remission, why delay? He 
next gives a persuasive turn to his address, adding, “For the promise is unto you” (v. 39): 
for he had spoken of a promise above. “And to your children,” he says: the gift is greater, 
when these are to be heirs of the blessings. “And to all,” he continues, “that are afar off:” if 
to those that are afar off, much more to you that are near: “even as many as the Lord our 
God shall call.” Observe the time he takes for saying, “To those that are afar off.” It is when 
he finds them conciliated and self-accusing. For when the soul pronounces sentence against 
itself, no longer can it feel envy. “And with many other words did he testify, and exhort, 
saying.” (v. 40.) Observe how, throughout, the writer studies brevity, and how free he is 
from ambition and display. “He testified and exhorted, saying.” This is the perfection of 
teaching, comprising something of fear and something of love. “Save yourselves from this 
untoward generation.” He says nothing of the future, all is about the present, by which indeed 

I nn 

men are chiefly swayed; he shows that the Gospel releases from present evils as well. 
“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized; and the same day there were added 
unto them about three thousand souls.” (v. 41.) Think you not this cheered the Apostles 
more than the miracle? “And they continued steadfastly and with one accord in the Apostles’ 

1 '70 

doctrine and fellowship.” (v. 42.) Here are two virtues, perseverance and concord. “In 

176 Touto yap ev ru> (3aTmapari itapeA.a(3ov. St. Chrysostom cannot mean to say that they received the gift 
of faith in baptism, not having it before: (see Mark xvi. 16, Acts viii. 37.) But the meaning seems to be, with allusion 
to the traditio symboli in baptism, “He does not as yet say, “Believe:” the question, “Dost thou believe?” would 
be put to them in their baptism, when the Creed was delivered to them. So that the injunction “Believe” is in 
fact included in the “Be baptized.” 

177 We adopt the reading of A. N. The other mss. have Kai rtov Ttapovrwv teat rtov peAAovrwv dTtaAAdrrei 
kockcov, “both from present and from future evils.” Below, v. 42, opo0upa5ov, which Chrys. seems to have had 
in his copy, was probably derived into this verse after TtpoaKapr. from TtpoaKapr. opo0. v. 46. 

178 The exact force of KOivwvla here has been much disputed. By many it is thought to mean communication 
(to the needy) in the having all things common (KOtvd), 01s., Lechler, et al. By others it is understood to refer 
to the Lord’s Supper, but against this view is the fact that KOivwvla did not become a name for the sacrament 
until the third or fourth century. Others render: fellowship understanding either the participation in common 

90 


Homily VII on Acts ii. 37. 


the Apostles’ doctrine,” he says: for they again taught them; “and fellowship, and in breaking 
of bread, and in prayer.” All in common, all with perseverance. “And fear came upon every 
soul” (v. 43): of those that believed. For they did not despise the Apostles, like common 
men, nor did they fix their regard on that which was visible merely. Verily, their thoughts 
were kindled into a glow. And as Peter had before spoken much, and declared the 
promises, and the things to come, well might they be beside themselves with fear. The 
wonders also bore witness to the words: “Many wonders and signs were done by the 
Apostles.” As was the case with Christ; first there were signs, then teaching, then wonders; 
so was it now. “And all that believed were together, and had all things common.” (v. 44.) 
Consider what an advance was here immediately! For the fellowship was not only in prayers, 
nor in doctrine alone, but also in (itoArreia) social relations. “And sold their possessions 
and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.” See what fear was wrought 
in them! “And they parted them,” he says, showing the (to oiKOVopixov) wise management: 
“As every man had need.” Not recklessly, like some philosophers among the Greeks, of 
whom some gave up their land, others cast into the sea great quantities of money; but this 
was no contempt of riches, but only folly and madness. For universally the devil has made 
it his endeavor to disparage the creatures of God, as if it were impossible to make good use 
of riches. “And continuing daily with one accord in the temple” (v. 46), they enjoyed the 
benefit of teaching. Consider how these Jews did nothing else great or small, than assiduously 
attend at the temple. For, as having become more earnest, they had increased devotion also 
to the place. For the Apostles did not for the present pluck them away from this object, for 
fear of injuring them. “And breaking bread from house to house, did take their portion of 
food with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the 
people.” (v. 47.) It seems to me that in mentioning “bread,” he here signifies fasting and 
hard life; for they “took their portion of food,” not of dainty fare. “With gladness,” he says. 
Seest thou that not the dainty fare, but the (rpocpfjc; ou Tpucpqp) food made the enjoyment. 
For they that fare daintily are under punishment and pain; but not so these. Do you see that 
the words of Peter contain this also, namely, the regulation of life? [“And singleness of 
heart.”] For no gladness can exist where there is no simplicity. How had they “favor with 
all the people?” On account of their alms deeds. For do not look to the fact, that the chief 
priests for envy and spite rose up against them, but rather consider that “they had favor 
with the people.” — “And the Lord added to the Church daily (siti to auTo) [together] such 


meals (ayaTtai) or the enjoyment of mutual sympathy, helpfulness and encouragement — the fellowship of 
Christian friendship. So Bengel, Mey., Hack., Gloag. This view is the preferable one. — G.B.S. 

179 Of our mss. N. E. have the true reading, Ttetiupwro, which is attested by the Catena: the rest, TtCTtwpwro 
“were hardened.” 


91 


Homily VII on Acts ii. 37. 


1 80 i » 

as should be saved. — And all that believed were together.’ Once more, the unanimity, 

i oi 

the charity, which is the cause of all good things! 

[“Now when they heard this,” etc. “Then Peter said unto them,” etc.] (Recapitulation, 
v. 37.) What had been said was not enough. For those sayings indeed were sufficient to bring 
them to faith; but these are to show what things the believer behooves to do. And he said 
not, In the Cross, but, “In the name of Jesus Christ let every one of you be baptized.” (v. 38.) 
And he does not put them continually in mind of the Cross, that he may not seem to reproach 
them, but he says simply, “Repent:” and why? That we may be punished? No: “And let each 
of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins.” And yet quite 
other is the law; of this world’s tribunals: but in the case of the Gospel proclamation 
(KxipuYpocToq); when the delinquent has confessed, then is he saved! Observe how Peter does 
not instantly hurry over this, but he specifies also the conditions, and adds, “Ye shall receive 
the gift of the Holy Ghost;” an assertion accredited by the fact, that the Apostles themselves 
had received that gift. [“For the promise,” etc.] (v. 39.) “The promise,” i.e. the gift of the 
Holy Ghost. So far, he speaks of the easy part, and that which has with it a great gift; and 


180 This citation from v. 44. is not misplaced: it refers to the words eiti to auro with which in Chrysostom’s 
copy and many considerable authorities, this verse ended. ('0 Kupioq itpooE. t. aoR. Ka0’ qpepav £7ti to auro. 
Il£Tpo<; 5e Kai T. dve(3aivov k. t. X. Lachm.) — In the opening of the next paragraph, the modern text has: “And 
with many other words he testified. This he says, showing that what had been said,” etc. But it is evident that 
the recapitulation begins here, with v. 37. and tci A.£X0evTa, and EKElva, mean the preceding discourse, v. 14-36.; 
Taura, not “the many other words,” v. 40. but, “Repent and be baptized.” 

181 The main lines of the picture which Luke here draws of the Apostolic community are: (1) Constant 
teaching and exhortation on the part of the Apostles. (2) Christian fellowship, with prayer and the regular ob- 
servance of the Lord’s Supper. (3) The doing of miracles. (4) The contribution of all to the common fund — not 
all at once, but gradually and as occasion required — as the imperfects and k<x06ti av Tiq xpetav etxev (v. 44) 
show. (5) The confident hope and exultant joy with which the work of the new kingdom was carried forward 
in the conviction that the gospel was for all (v. 39). The naoiv toR eR paKpav must, we think, refer to the heathen 
(Calv., Beng., Lech., De W., Lange, Alf., Hack., Gl.) and not merely to distant members of the Jewish nation 
(Baumg., Mey.). — G.B.S. 

182 In the old text (mss. and Catena) after twv ttA£i ovwv Any wv to KEtpdAaiov comes the clause touto eoti, 
cpqatv, f| StopEa tou 'A. Ilv. where it is clearly misplaced: for to eukoAov k. t. X. is, “Be baptized, and ye shall 
receive,” etc., and tote ETtt tov (3iov ayet refers to v. 40.: “And with many other words,” of which hAeiovwv 
Aoywv the KEtpdAaiov is, “Save yourselves,” etc. Hence the clause must belong to v. 39. and accordingly the 
Catena gives the whole passage from ’A^tomaTOt; 6 Aoyot; to ETtt to (3aitT. E^EpxovTou. as the comment on v. 38, 
39. We have restored the proper order, and supplied the omitted citations. — The modern text after to KEtpdAaiov, 
has K<xi touto 7tpotm0qai, SeikviR, tm r| SwpEa tou 'A. Ilv. “Since the hearer, etc. this also he adds, showing 
that it is the gift of the Holy Ghost.” — But the “hearer” is the person hearing or reading the narrative. 


92 


Homily VII on Acts ii. 37. 


then he leads them to practice: for it will be to them a ground of earnestness, to have tasted 
already of those so great blessings [“and with many other words did he testify,” etc.] (v. 40). 
Since, however, the hearer would desire to learn what was the sum and, substance of these 
further words, he tells us this: [“Saying, save yourselves from this untoward generation.”] 
[“They then, that gladly received his words,” etc.] (v. 41) they approved of what had been 
said, although fraught with terror, and after their assent given, proceed at once to baptism. 
“And they continued” it is written, “steadfastly in the doctrine” (or, “teaching”) “of the 
Apostles” (v. 42): for it was not for one day, no nor for two or three days that they were 
under teaching as being persons who had gone over to a different course of life. [“And 
they continued with one accord in the Apostles’ doctrine,” etc.] The expression is not, opou 
“together,” but opoGupaSov, “with one accord;” (“and daily,” he says [afterwards], “they 

i or 

were continuing with one accord in the temple,”) i.e. with one soul. And here again in 
his conciseness, he does not relate the teaching given; for as young children, the Apostles 
nourished them with spiritual food. “And fear came upon every soul” (v. 43): clearly, of 
those, as well, who did not believe; namely, upon seeing so great a change all at once effected, 
and besides in consequence of the miracles. [“And all that believed were together, and had 
all things in common,” etc.] (v. 44.) They are all become angels on a sudden; all of them 
continuing in prayer and hearing, they saw that spiritual things are common, and no one 
there has more than other, and they speedily came together (eni to auto), to the same thing 
in common, even to the imparting to all. 186 “And all the believing” (v. 44), it says, were eni 
to auTo: and to see that this does not mean that they were together in place, observe what 
follows [“And had all things common”] . “All,” it says: not one with the exception of another. 
This was an angelic commonwealth, not to call anything of theirs their own. Forthwith the 


183 Here E. strangely inserts the formula of recapitulation, ’AAA.’ iStopev avtoBev ra Aeyopeva: received by 
Sav., Ben. but bracketted by Morel. 

184 Here the mss. have: “And fear came,” etc., v. 43, with its comment, which we have restored to its proper 
place. 

185 Ouxt opou 5e, aAA’ opoBupaSov paav “kocB’ ppepav re (ppaiv, itpoaKapr. opoBup. ev tu> iepw,” touteoti, 
pia vpuxfj- B- C. F. D. St. Chrys. here returns to v. 42. in which he read in his copy the word opoBupaSov. Com- 
menting on that expression, he refers to v. 46 (as his remark on that verse above was that they were taught, rfj<; 
5i5aaKaAla<; dmeAauov, in the Temple). Or perhaps this clause may have been added by the scribe, because he 
did not find npootcapT. opoB. in v. 42, but did find it in v. 46. — E. “But he says not opou, but opoB since it is 
possible to be opou yet not opoB., when people are divided in opinion. And with words he exhorted. And here 
again,” etc. So Edd. 

186 ’Em touto, etc! to Ttaot peraSouvat B. C D. F. N. Cat. on v. 46, but on v. 45, Cat. has eiti to auri, which 
is doubtless the true reading: for which the innovator, not understanding it, has sm to tci auTtov Ttaai StaSouvai. 
On £7ti to auTO compare the comment on ch. iv. 32. in Horn. xi. §1. 


93 


Homily VII on Acts ii. 37. 


root of evils was cut out. By what they did, they showed what they had heard: this was that 
which he said, “Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” — “And daily continuing 
with one accord in the temple.” (v. 46.) Since they are become three thousand, they take 
them abroad now: and withal, the boldness imparted by the Spirit being great: and daily 
they went up as to a sacred place, as frequently we find Peter and John doing this: for at 
present they disturbed none of the Jewish observances. And this honor too passed over to 

1 QO 

the place; the eating in the house. In what house? In the Temple. Observe the increase 
of piety. They cast away their riches, and rejoiced, and had great gladness, for greater were 
the riches they received without labor (anova Cat. al. ayotGa). None reproached, none envied, 
none grudged; no pride, no contempt was there. As children they did indeed account 
themselves to be under teaching: as new born babes, such was their disposition. Yet why 
use this faint image? If you remember how it was when God shook our city with an earth- 
quake, how subdued all men were. (Infra, Horn. xli. §2.) Such was the case then with those 
converts. No knavery, no villany then: such is the effect of fear, of affliction! No 189 talk of 
“mine” and “thine” then. Hence gladness waited at their table; no one seemed to eat of his 
own, or of another’s; — I grant this may seem a riddle. Neither did they consider their 
brethren’s property foreign to themselves; it was 190 the property of a Master; nor again 
deemed they aught their own, all was the brethren’s. The poor man knew no shame, the 
rich no haughtiness. This is gladness. The latter deemed himself the obliged and fortunate 
party; the others felt themselves as honored herein, and closely were they bound together. 
For indeed, because when people make doles of money, there are apt to be insults, pride, 
grudging; therefore says the Apostle, “Not grudgingly, or of necessity.” — (2 Cor. ix. 7.) 
[“With gladness and simplicity of heart,” etc.] See of how many things he bears witness to 
them! Genuine faith, upright conduct, perseverance in hearing, in prayers, in singleness, in 
cheerfulness. [“Praising God.”] (v. 47.) Two things there were which might deject them; 
their abstemious living, and the loss of their property. Yet on both these accounts did they 
rejoice. [“And having favor with all the people.”] For who but must love men of this character, 


187 apa rr|(; toutwv (N. and Cat. rou nveuparoc;) nappriaiaq (itapouaiou; B.) itoAXfjc; ouar|<;, koc0’ tjpepav re 
k. r. X. B. C. D. F. N. Cat. We have adopted the reading preserved by N. and the Catena. — E. and Edd. “Who 
also with boldness, seeing there was great boldness now, daily went up and continued in the Temple.” 

188 real aurri (1. aurr| 5e f| Tipi) etc rov tottov 5ie(3aive to ev r u> oikw ea01eiv ttoi'& 251- olioo; ev rw lepw; B. 
C. D. F. Cat. This “eating in the house” refers to the clause kA.u>vt£<; te koct’ oIkov aprov. If the passage be sound, 
Chrys. here represents that the Temple was honored by the breaking of bread (the Holy Eucharist?), there — Edd. 
from E. kou aurij 5e f| £t(; rov tottov ripi) 5i£(3aiv£ Ttpo<; rov rou lepou AeanoTriv- “And the honor itself paid to 
the place passed over to the Lord of the Temple.” 

189 Edd. add, to ijwxpov p& 210’pa, “That cold expression.” 

190 AeaJtOTiKd, i.e. of Christ their common Master. But Erasm. Erant etiim ut dominorum, and so Ben. 


94 


Homily VII on Acts ii. 37. 


as common fathers? They conceived no malice toward each other; they committed all to 
the grace of God. [“With all the people.”] Fear there was none; yea, though they had taken 
their position in the midst of dangers. 191 By singleness, however, he denotes their entire 
virtue, far surpassing their contempt of riches, their abstinence, and their preseverance in 
prayer. For thus also they offered pure praise to God: this is to praise God. But observe also 
here how they immediately obtain their reward. “Having favor with all the people.” They 
were engaging, and highly beloved. For who would not prize and admire their simplicity of 
character; who would not be linked to one in whom was nothing underhand? To whom too 
does salvation belong, but to these? To whom those great marvels? Was it not to shepherds 
that the Gospel was first preached? and to Joseph, being a man of simple mind, insomuch 

that he did not let a suspicion of adultery frighten him into doing wrong? Did not God elect 
rustics, those artless men? For it is written, “Blessed is every simple soul.” (Prov. xi. 25.) 
And again, “He that walketh simply, walketh surely.” (Prov. x. 9.) “True,” you will say, “but 
prudence also is needed.” Why, what is simplicity, I pray you, but prudence? For when you 
suspect no evil, neither can you fabricate any: when you have no annoyances, neither can 
you remember injuries. Has any one insulted you? You were not pained. Has any one reviled 
you? You were nothing hurt. Has he envied you? Still you had no hurt. Simplicity is a high 
road to true philosophy. None so beautiful in soul as the simple. For as in regard of personal 
appearance, he that is sullen, and downcast, and reserved (auwouq), even if he be good- 
looking, loses much of his beauty; while he that relaxes his countenance, and gently smiles, 
enhances his good looks; so in respect of the soul, he that is reserved, if he have ten thousand 
good points, disfigures them; but the frank and simple, just the reverse. A man of this last 
description may be safely made a friend, and when at variance easily reconciled. No need 
of guards and outposts, no need of chains and fetters with such an one; but great is his own 
freedom, and that of those who associate with him. But what, you will say, will such a man 
do if he fall among wicked people? God, Who has commanded us to be simple-minded, will 
stretch out His hand. What was more guileless than David? What more wicked than Saul? 
Yet who triumphed? Again, in Joseph’s case; did not he in simplicity approach his master’s 
wife, she him with wicked art? Yet what, I pray, was he the worse? Furthermore, what more 
simple than was Abel? what more malicious than Cain? And Joseph again, had he not dealt 
artlessly with his brethren? Was not this the cause of his eminence, that he spoke out unsus- 
piciously, while they received his words in malice? He declared once and again his dreams 
unreservedly; and then again he set off to them carrying provisions; he used no caution; he 


191 Kod raura ev peaou; kivSuvok; £p(3£(3Atik6twv auttov. Erasm. omits the two last words: Ben. in media 
pericula conjectis. The meaning is: “Not even in the midst of dangers, which they themselves had boldly charged, 
or, invaded.” 

192 Although he speaks below of Joseph the Patriarch, it seems that the husband of Mary is meant here. 


95 


Homily VII on Acts ii. 37. 


committed all to God: nay, the more they held him in the light of an enemy, the more did 
he treat them as brothers. God had power not to have suffered him to fall into their hands; 
but that the wonder might be made manifest, how, though they do their worst, he shall be 
higher than they: though the blow do come upon him, it comes from another, not from 
himself. On the contrary, the wicked man strikes himself first, and none other than himself. 
“For alone,’ it is said, shall he bear his troubles. ’ (Prov. ix. 12.) Ever in him the soul is 
full of dejection, his thoughts being ever entangled: whether he must hear aught or say aught, 
he does all with complaints, with accusation. Far, very far from such do friendship and 
harmony make their abode: but fightings are there, and enmities, and all unpleasantness. 
They that are such suspect even themselves. To these not even sleep is sweet, nor anything 
else. And have they a wife also, lo, they are enemies and at war with all: what endless jeal- 
ousies, what unceasing fear! Aye, the wicked, itovripoc; has his name from novei'v, “to have 
trouble.” And, indeed, thus the Scripture is ever calling “wickedness” by the name of labor; 
as, for instance, “Under his tongue is toil and labor;” and again, “In the midst of them is toil 
and labor.” (Ps. x. 7; xc. 10; and lv. 11.) 

Now if any one should wonder, whence those who had at first been of this last class, 
now are so different, let him learn that affliction was the cause, affliction, that school-mistress 
of heavenly wisdom, that mother of piety. When riches were done away with, wickedness 
also disappeared. True, say you, for this is the very thing I am asking about; but whence 
comes all the wickedness there is now? How is it that it came into the minds of those three 
thousand and five thousand straightway, to choose virtue, and that they simultaneously 
became Christian philosophers, whereas now hardly one is to be found? how was it that 
they then were in such harmony? What was it, that made them resolute and active? What 
was it that so suddenly inflamed them? The reason is, that they drew near with much piety; 
that honors were not so sought after as they are now; that they transferred their thoughts 
to things future, and looked for nothing of things present. This is the sign of an ardent mind, 
to encounter perils; this was their idea of Christianity. We take a different view, we seek our 
comfort here. The result is, that we shall not even obtain this, when the time is come. “What 
are we to do?” asked those men. We, just the contrary — “What shall we do?” What behooved 
to be done, they did. We, quite the reverse. 194 Those men condemned themselves, despaired 

193 Movoq yap, tpr|aiv, avtArjaet ra kockcL A. omits this and the next clause: E. substitutes, “so is he even to 
himself an enemy. Of such an one the soul is,” etc. so Edd. 

194 We adopt the reading preserved by A. N. (what is also contained in the modern text with additions meant 
for explanation.) “Tl Ttoirjawpcv;” f|pwrwv EKEtvot. 'Hpei<; 5e ro evavnov- Ti Ttoif|aop£v; “Attep e5ei yeveaSat 
ETtotouv. 'Hpeu; 5e rouvavriov. The modern text, after r|p. ekeTvoi, inserts, dTtoyivuxjKOVTEc; eaurtov “despairing 
of themselves:” and, after the second question, Aiyopev, ETnSeiKvupevoi itpoq roue; Ttapovraq, Kai peya cppovouvtEc; 
£<p’ Eaurolq “Say (we), showing off ourselves to those present, and thinking great things of ourselves.” B. C. 
omit, perhaps by oversight, the clauses between, Ti TtoirjatopEv (B. ri JtoujaopEv); and, “Aitep e5ei. In the following 

96 


Homily VII on Acts ii. 37. 


of saving themselves. This is what made them such as they were. They knew what a gift they 
had received. But how can you become like them, when you do everything in an opposite 
spirit? They heard, and were forthwith baptized. They did not speak those cold words which 
we do now, nor did they contrive delays (p. 47, note 3); and yet they had heard all the re- 
quirements: but that word, “Save yourselves from this generation,” made them to be not 
sluggish; rather they welcomed the exhortation; and that they did welcome it, they proved 
by their deeds, they showed what manner of men they were. They entered at once the lists, 
and took off the coat; whereas we do enter, but we intend to fight with our coat on. This is 
the cause that our antagonist has so little trouble, for we get entangled in our own movements, 
and are continually thrown down. We do precisely the same thing as he who, having 195 to 
cope with a man frantic, breathing fire; and seeing him, a professed wrestler, covered with 
dust, tawny, stripped, clotted with dirt from the sand and sun, and running down with sweat 
and oil and dirt; himself, smelling of perfumes, should put on his silken garments, and his 
gold shoes, and his robe hanging down to his heels, and his golden trinkets on the head, 
and so descend into the arena, and grapple with him. Such a one will not only be impeded, 
but being taken up with the sole idea of not staining or rending his fine clothes, will tumble 
at the very first onset, and withal will suffer that which he chiefly dreaded, the damage of 
those his fond delights. The time for the contest is come, and say, are you putting on your 
silks? It is the time of exercise, the hour of the race, and are you adorning yourself as for a 
procession? Look not to outward things, but to the inward. For by the thoughts about these 
things the soul is hampered on all sides, as if by strong cords, so that she cannot let you raise 
a hand, or contend against the adversary; and makes you soft and effeminate. One may 
think himself, even when released from all these ties, well off, to be enabled to conquer that 
impure power. And on this account Christ too did not allow the parting with riches alone 
to suffice, but what saith He? “Sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and come 
and follow Me.” (Mark x. 21.) Now if, even when we cast away our riches, we are not yet in 
a safe position, but stand still in need of some further art and close practice; much more, if 
we retain them, shall we fail to achieve great things, and, instead thereof, become a laughing- 
stock to the spectators, and to the evil one himself. For even though there were no devil, 
though there were none to wrestle with us, yet ten thousand roads on all sides lead the lover 
of money to hell. Where now are they who ask why the devil was made (Start 6 5. ysyovsv;)? 
Behold here the devil has no hand in the work, we do it all ourselves. Of a truth they of the 
hills might have a right to speak thus, who after they had given proof of their temperance, 
their contempt of wealth and disregard of all such things, have infinitely preferred to abandon 


sentences, the force of the verbs Kareyvwaav, aTteyvtoaav, eyvwaav might be rendered thus: “They knew 
themselves guilty, knew that in them was no power to save themselves — knew what a gift they received.” 

195 Ttpoc av5pa patvopcvov eywv, itup ttveovra. E. F. D. and Edd. omit these words. 


97 


Homily VII on Acts ii. 37. 


father, and houses, and lands, and wife, and children. Yet, they are the last to speak so: but 
the men who at no time ought to say it, these do say it. Those are indeed wrestlings with the 
devil; these he does not think worth entering into. Y ou will say, But it is the devil who instils 
this same covetousness. Well, flee from it, do not harbor it, O man. Suppose now, you see 
one flinging out filth from some upper story, and at the same time a person seeing it thrown 
out, yet standing there and receiving it all on his head: you not only do not pity him, but 
you are angry, and tell him it serves him right; and, “Do not be a fool,” everyone cries out 
to him, and lays the blame not so much on the other for shooting out the filth, as on him 
for letting it come on him. But now, you know that covetousness is of the devil; you know 
that it is the cause of ten thousand evils; you see him flinging out, like filth, his noisome 
imaginations; and do you not see that you are receiving on your bare head his nastiness, 
when it needed but to turn aside a little to escape it altogether? Just as our man by shifting 
his position would have escaped; so, do you refuse to admit such imaginations, ward off the 
lust. And how am I to do this? you will ask. Were you a Gentile, and had eyes for things 
present alone, the matter perhaps might be one of considerable difficulty, and yet even the 
Gentiles have achieved as much; but you — a man in expectation of heaven and heavenly 
bliss — and you to ask, “How am I to repel bad thoughts?” Were I saying the contrary, then 
you might doubt: did I say, covet riches, “How shall I covet riches,” you might answer, 
“seeing such things as I do?” Tell me, if gold and precious stones were set before you, and 
I were to say, Desire lead, would there not be reason for hesitation? For you would say, How 
can I? But if I said, Do not desire it; this had been plainer to understand. I do not marvel at 
those who despise, but at those who despise not riches. This is the character of a soul exceed- 
ing full of stupidity, no better than flies and gnats, a soul crawling upon the earth, wallowing 
in filth, destitute of all high ideas. What is it you say? Are you destined to inherit eternal 
life; and do you say, how shall I despise the present life for the future? What, can the things 
be put in competition ? 196 You are to receive a royal vest; and say you, How shall I despise 
these rags? You are going to be led into the king’s palace; and do you say, How shall I despise 
this present hovel? Of a truth, we ourselves are to blame in every point, we who do not 
choose to let ourselves be stirred up ever so little. For the willing have succeeded, and that 
with great zeal and facility. Would that you might be persuaded by our exhortation, and 
succeed too, and become imitators of those who have been successful, through the grace 
and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father and the Holy Ghost together 
be glory, and power, and honor, now and ever, and world without end. Amen. 


196 pr| yap dpcpripiara ra Ttpayparo; Erasm. negligently, non sunt ceque amabiles illce res: Ben. num res sunt 
mutuo comparabiles ? 


98 



Homily VIII on Acts Hi. 1. 


Homily VIII. 

Acts III. 1 

“Now Peter and John went up together into the temple, at the hour of prayer, being the ninth 
hour.” 

Everywhere we find these two Apostles in great harmony together. “To him Simon Peter 
beckoned.” (John xiii. 24.) These two also “came together to the sepulchre. (Ib. xx. 3 et seq.) 
And concerning John, Peter said unto Christ, “And what shall this man do?” (Ib. xxi. 21.) 
Now as for the other miracles, the writer of this book omits them; but he mentions the 
miracle by which they were all put in commotion. Observe again that they do not come 
to them purposely; so clear were they of ambition, so closely did they imitate their Master. 
Why now did they go up to the temple? Did they still live as Jews? No, but for expediency 
(xpijoipwc;). A miraculous sign again takes place, which both confirms the converts, and 
draws over the rest; and such, as they were a sign for having wrought. 199 The disease was 
in the nature of the man, and baffled the art of medicine. He had been forty years lame (ch. 
iv. 20), as the writer says afterwards, and no one during all that time had cured him. And 
the most obstinate diseases are those which are born with men. It was a great calamity, in- 
somuch that even to provide for himself his necessary sustenance was impossible for him. 
The man was conspicuous both from the place, and from his malady. Hear how the matter 
is related. “And a certain man, lame from his mother’s womb, was carried, whom they laid 
daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered 
into the temple.” (v. 2.) He sought to receive alms, and he did not know who the men were. 
“Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked an alms. And Peter, fastening 
his eyes upon him, with John, said, Look on us.” (v. 3, 4.) Yet, not even so were the man’s 
thoughts elevated, but he persisted in his importunity. For such is poverty; upon a refusal, 


197 CEcumen. has preserved the true reading: dtp’ ou Ttavreq EKtvqSqaav. Mss. and Cat. £Kivqa£v. (N. in the 
margin, by a later hand, £vtKqa£.) E. and Edd. o 5 e toA-Ativ £iy£ rqv £kttAt|^iv Kai Ttavrac £^£vta£, rouro AiyEt. 

198 There is no evidence that Peter and John attended upon the Jewish worship simply “for expediency.” 
There is much to the contrary. The early Christians had no idea of ceasing to be Jews. Peter at this time supposed 
it to be necessary for the Gentile converts to be circumcised (Gal. ii.). It was incident to the gradual separation 
of Christianity from Judaism that those who had been zealous adherents of the latter should suppose that its 
forms were still to be the moulds of the new system. They were not for this reason less honestly and genuinely 
Christian, but had not yet apprehended the principle of Christian liberty as Paul afterward expounded it. The 
point of difficulty was not so much the entrance of the Gentiles into the Kingdom of God as the question 
whether they should enter through the gate of Judaism. — G.B.S. 

199 Kod oiov aqpElov f|aav 7totqaavT£<;. E. “And a miracle such as they had not yet wrought.” So Edd. 


99 


Homily VIII on Acts Hi. 1. 


it compels people still to persist. Let this put us to shame who fall back in our prayers. But 
observe, I pray you, Peter’s gentleness: for he said, “Look on us.” So truly did their very 
bearing, of itself, betoken their character. “And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive 
something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have I give 
thee.” (v. 5, 6.) He did not say, I give thee something much better than silver or gold: but 
what? “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. And he took him by the 
right hand, and lifted him up.” (v. 7.) Such was also the way of Christ. Often He healed by 
word, often by an act, often also He stretched forth the hand, where men were somewhat 
weak in faith, that the cure might not appear to be spontaneous. “And he took him by the 
right hand, and lifted him up.” This act made manifest the Resurrection, for it was an image 
of the Resurrection. “And immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he 
leaping up stood, and walked.” (v. 8.) Perhaps it was by way of trying himself that he put it 
thus to further proof, whether perchance the thing done might not be to no purpose. His 
feet were weak; it was not that he had lost them. Some say that he did not even know how 
to walk. 200 “And entered with them into the temple.” Of a truth it was marvellous. The 
Apostles do not urge him; but of his own accord he follows, by the act of following pointing 
out his benefactors. “And leaping and praising God;” not admiring them, but God that 
wrought by them. The man was grateful. 

[“Now 201 Peter and John went up together into the temple,” etc.] You observe how they 
continued in prayer. “The ninth hour:” there they prayed together. [“And a certain man,” 
etc.] The man was in the act of being carried at that instant. [“Whom they laid daily:”] (his 
bearers carried him away:) [“at the gate,” etc.] just when people went into the temple. And 
that you may not suppose that they carried him for some other purpose, but that it was in 
order that he might receive alms, hear what the writer says: “so that he might receive alms 
of those entering into the temple.” (Recapitulation of w. 1-8.) And this is the reason why 
he also makes mention of the places, to give evidence of what he relates. “And how was it,” 
you may ask, “that they did not present him to Christ?” Perhaps they were certain unbelieving 
men, that haunted the temple, as in fact neither did they present him to the Apostles, when 
they saw them entering, after having done such great miracles. “He asked,” it is written, “to 
receive an alms.” (v. 3.) Their bearing marked them as certain devout and righteous men. 
[“And Peter fastening his eyes upon him, with John, said,” etc.] (v. 4, 5.) And observe how 


200 CEcumen. “That he leaped was either because he was incredulous of what had happened, or, by way of 
trying his power of stepping more surely and firmly, or, the man did not know how to walk.” 

201 E. and Edd. “But let us look over again what has been said. ‘They went up,’ he says, ‘at the hour of prayer, 
the ninth hour.’ Perhaps just at that time they carried and laid the lame man, when people,” etc. In the old text 
the clause aurov PaarcRovra; dTtrjvEyKav (which should be ot Pact, aurov) seems meant to explain k<x0’ ijpdpav: 
they bore him daily, and the same persons carried him away. 


100 


Homily VIII on Acts Hi. 1. 


John is everywhere silent, while Peter makes excuse for him also; “Silver and gold,” he says, 
“have I none.” (v. 6.) He does not say, I have none here, as we are wont to speak, but abso- 
lutely, I have none. “What then?” he might say, “do you take no notice of me, your suppliant?” 
Not so, but of what I have, receive thou. Do you remark how unassuming Peter is, how he 
makes no display even to the object of his beneficence? [“In the name,” etc. “And he took 
him by the hand,” etc.] (v. 7.) And the mouth and the hand did all. Such sort of persons 

were the Jews; lame, and the right thing being to ask for health, these same ask for money, 
grovelling on the ground: for this it was that they beset the temple — to get money. What 
then does Peter? He did not despise him; he did not look about for some rich subject; he 
did not say, If the miracle is not done to some great one (etc; eksivov), nothing great is done: 
he did not look for some honor from him, no, nor heal him in the presence of people; for 
the man was at the entrance, not where the multitude were, that is, within. But Peter sought 
no such object; nor upon entering did he proclaim the matter: no, it was by his bearing that 
he attracted the lame man to ask. And the wonder is, that he believed so readily. For those 
who are set free from diseases of long standing, hardly believe their very eyesight. Once 
healed, he remains with the Apostles, giving thanks to God. “And he entered,” it is said, 
“with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.” (v. 8.) Observe how 
restless he is, in the eagerness of his delight, at the same time shutting the mouths of the 
Jews. Also, that he leaped, was to prevent the suspicion of hypocrisy; for after all, this was 
beyond the possibility of deception. For if previously he was totally unable to walk, even 
when hunger pressed hard (and indeed he would not have chosen to share with his bearers 
the proceeds of his begging, if he had been able to manage for himself), this holds still more 
in the present case. And how should he have feigned in behalf of those who had given him 
no alms? But the man was grateful, even after his recovery. And thus on either side his faith 
is shown, both by his thankfulness, and by the recent event. 

He was so well known to all, that “they recognized him. And all the people, ’ it says, 
“saw him walking and praising God; and they recognized (eTieyivcooKOv) that it was he 


202 E. and Edd. roiouroi rivec; qaav Kai ’IouSaioi (for oi ’I.) xwA.euovre<;...oi 5e (for auroi) paAAov xprjpara 
airouai...o'i Kai 5ia touto. . .“Such sort of people were also [the] Jews, being lame (i e. like many beggars among 
ourselves) : even when they have only to ask for health, yet they rather ask for money. . . who even for this reason 
beset the temple,” etc. But the meaning seems rather to be: “See here an emblem of the Jews. Lame, and needing 
but,” etc. 

203 ourw Ttaai yvwpipot; f|v on eTteytvwaKov, A. B. C. D. F. Sav. Morel. Ben. But Commelin. and Ed. Par. 
Ben. 2. after Erasm. adopt the reading of E. ou pf]v Ttaai yvwpipoc; f[V o0£v Kai: because of the following comment 
on eTteyivwaKOv. But the meaning is: They were all acquainted with him (it could not be otherwise): but seeing 
him walking and leaping, they found it difficult to believe that it was he, and yet they could not doubt it. This 
is well denoted by Eitcyiv wokov: for we use this word, £iii rtov p6A.ii; yv wpi^opEv wv: strange as it was, they were 
satisfied that it was he, the man whom they all knew so well. 


101 


Homily VIII on Acts Hi. 1. 


which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple.” (v. 9.) It is well said, “they recognized,” 
inasmuch as he was one unknown now by reason of what had happened: for we use this 
term with regard to objects, which we find a difficulty in recognizing. [“And they were filled 
with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.”] Needs must it be 
believed that 204 the name of Christ remits sins, seeing it produces even such effects as this. 
(“And as he held Peter and John, all the people came together at the porch that is called 
Solomon’s, greatly wondering.” (v. 11.) From his good feelings and love towards the Apostles, 
the lame man would not leave them; perhaps he was thanking them openly, and praising 
them. “And all the people,” it is said, “ran together unto them. And when Peter saw them, 
he answered.” (v. 12.) Again it is he who acts, and addresses the people. 

And in the former instance, it was the circumstance of the tongues that aroused them 
to hearing, now it was this miracle; then, he took occasion to speak from their accusations 
now, from their supposition. Let us then consider, in what this address differs from the 
former, and in what it agrees with that. The former was held in a house, before any one has 
come over, and before they themselves have wrought anything; this, when all are wondering, 
and the healed man is standing by; when none doubt, as in the other case where some said 
“These men are full of new wine.” (Acts xii. 13.) At the one, he was surrounded by all the 
Apostles as he spoke; but at this, he has John alone; for by this time he is bold, and become 
more energetic. Such is the nature of virtue; once started, it advances, and never stops. Ob- 
serve also how it was divinely ordered, that the miracle should take place in the temple, that 
others also might wax bold, while the Apostles work not in holes (eic; KorraSuasic;) and 
corners, and in secret: though not in the interior of the temple either, where the greater 
number were. How then, I pray you, was it believed? The man himself who was healed 
proclaimed the benefit. For there was no reason why he should lie, nor why he should have 

•inr 

joined a different set of people. Either then it was because of the spaciousness of the place, 
that he there wrought the miracle, or because the spot was retired. And observe the event. 
They went up for one object, and they accomplished another. Thus also did Cornelius: he 
prayed and fasted * * *. But hitherto they always call Him, “of Nazareth.” “In the name 


204 v E5ei TuareuBrjvai Sion, B. C. 5i on A. This seems to be the comment on the remaining clause of v. 10, 
which we have supplied: but the meaning is obscure. The modern text has e5ei youv it. on. 

205 ou5e yap av evjjeuaaro, ou5’ av in’ aXXovq Tivaq i)X9ev. It is not clear who are the aAAoi nvei;: and 
something is wanting. In fact, this part of the Homily is very defective. The next sentence seems to refer to the 
mention of the porch called Solomon’s, but evidently supposes something preceding: e.g. “The miracle was 
performed at the Beautiful Gate, beside which was the Porch called Solomon’s.” 

206 E. and Edd. KopvrjAroi; aAAa vr]ar£uu)v r|ux eTO , Kai aAAa opa. “Cornelius prayed with fasting, for one 
object: and sees a vision of something other than he thought for.” 


102 


Homily VIII on Acts Hi. 1. 


of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,” said Peter, walk. For in the first instance, the thing required 
was, that He should be believed in. 

Let us not, I pray you, give over at the beginning of the story: and if one has named 

some particular achievement of virtue, and then has dropped it for awhile, let us begin over 
again. If we get into the right mood (ev e^ei), we shall soon arrive at the end, soon reach the 
summit. For earnestness, it is said, begets earnestness, and dulness begets dulness. He who 
has effected some little reformation, thereby receives encouragement to approach greater 
things, and thence again to go on something more than that; and just as it is with fire, the 
more wood it lays hold on, the more vehement it becomes, so likewise zeal, the more pious 
reflections it kindles, the more effectually is it armed against their opposites. As, for example: 
There are set in us, like so many thorns, perjury, falsehood hypocrisy, deceit, dishonesty, 
abusiveness, scoffing, buffoonery, indecency, scurrility; again under another head, covetous- 
ness, rapacity, injustice, calumny, insidiousness; again, wicked lust, uncleanness, lewdness, 
fornication, adultery; again, envy, emulation, anger, wrath, rancor, revenge, blasphemy, and 
numberless others. If we effect a reformation in the first instances, not only in them will the 
success have been achieved, but through them in the following cases also. For reason has 
then gained more strength to overthrow those other vices. For instance, if he, who has fre- 
quently sworn, once extirpates that satanic habit, he has not only gained this point, but a 
habit of piety in other respects will have been brought in. For no one, I suppose, averse to 
swearing would easily consent to do any other wicked act; he will feel a reverence for the 
virtue already acquired. Just as the man who wears a beautiful robe, will blush to roll himself 
in the mire; so is it also here. From this beginning he will come to learn not to be angry, not 
to strike, not to insult. For if once he has come right in little matters, the whole affair is done. 
Often, however, something of this sort takes place, that a person has once reformed, and 
then again through carelessness falls back into the old sins but too readily, so that the case 
becomes irremediable. For instance, we have made it a law to ourselves not to swear; we 
have got on well, for some three, or even four days; after that being hard put to it, we scattered 
away the whole of our collected gain; we then fall into indolence and recklessness. Still it is 
not right to give over; one must set to work zealously again. For it is said, he that has built 
up a house, and then sees his building pulled down, will have less spirit for building again. 
Yes, but for all this, one must not be dispirited, but must once more set to work zealously. 


207 It can hardly be imagined that St. Chrysostom’s meaning is correctly reported here. ’Ev dcpxfi too Siriyparoi;, 

can only mean, In the beginning of the narrative (of this miracle). It seems that the case of this man, who at first 
lies at the gate of the temple, unable to stir, and in the end, enters with the Apostles walking and leaping and 
praising God, furnished the theme for the ethical part of the discourse. “There is the like cure for our souls: let 
us not give over for want of success in the first attempt, but begin again after every failure.” 


103 



Homily VIII on Acts Hi. 1. 


Let us then lay down daily laws for ourselves. For a time let us begin with the easier. Let 
us retrench all that superfluity of paths, and put a bridle on our tongues; let no one swear 
by God. Here is no outlay, here is no fatigue, here is no cost of time. It is sufficient to will, 
and all is done. It is a matter of habit. I beseech and entreat you, let us contribute thus much 
of zeal. T ell me, if I had bid you contribute your money, would not each one of you readily 
cast in according to his ability? If you saw me in extreme danger, would you not, if it had 
been possible, have cut off your own flesh to give me? Well, I am in danger now, and in 
great danger, such indeed that, were I withal confined to a dungeon, or had I received ten 
thousand stripes, or were a convict in the mines, I could not suffer more. Reach me then 
the hand. Consider how great is the danger, that I should not have been able to reform this 
which is least: I say “least” in regard to the labor required. What shall I have to say hereafter, 
when thus called to account? “Why did you not remonstrate? why did you not enjoin? why 
did you not lay the law before them? why did you not check the disobedient?” It will not be 
enough for me to say, that I did admonish. It will be answered, “You ought to have used 
more vehement rebuke; since Eli also admonished.” (1 Sam. ii. 24.) But God forbid I should 
compare you with Eli’s sons. Indeed, he did admonish them and say, “Nay, my sons, do not 
so; evil is the report that I hear ofyou.” (1 Sam. iii. 13.) But subsequently the Scripture saith, 
that he did not admonish his sons: since he did not admonish them severely, or with threats. 
For is it not strange indeed, that in the synagogues of the Jews the laws are in such force, 
and whatever the teacher enjoins is performed; while here we are thus despised and rejected? 
It is not my own glory that I care for (my glory is your good report), but it is for your salva- 
tion. Every day we lift up our voice, and shout in your ears. But there is none to hear. Still 
we take no strong measures. I fear we shall have to give an account at the coming Day of 
this excessive and unseasonable leniency. 

Wherefore, with a loud and clear voice, I proclaim to all and testify, that those who are 
notorious for this transgression, who utter words which come “of the evil one,” (Matt. v. 
37.) (for such is swearing,) shall not step over the threshold of the Church. Let this present 
month be the time allowed you for reforming in this matter. Talk not to me, “Necessity of 
business compels me to use oaths, else people do not believe me.” To begin with this, retrench 
those oaths which come merely of habit. I know many will laugh, but it is better to be laughed 
at now, than wept for hereafter. They will laugh, who are mad. For who, I ask, in his right 
mind would laugh at the keeping of the commandment? But suppose they do; why, it will 
not be at us, but at Christ, that such men will laugh. You shudder at the word! I knew you 
would. Now if this law were of my making, at me would be the laughing; but if Another be 
the Lawgiver, the jeering passes over to Him. Yes, and Christ was once spit upon, and 
smitten with the palm, smitten upon the face. Now also He bears with this, and it is no 
wonder (ouSev dneiKOt;)! For this, hell is prepared; for this, the worm that dieth not. Behold, 
again I say and testify; let him laugh that will, let him scoff that listeth. Hereunto are we set, 


104 


Homily VIII on Acts Hi. 1. 


to be laughed at and mocked, to suffer all things. We are “the offscouring” (1 Cor. iv. 13) 
or the world, as blessed Paul says. If any man refuse to conform to this order, that man I, 
by my word, as with a trumpet’s blast, do prohibit to set foot over the Church’s threshold, 
be he prince, be he even the crowned head. Either depose me from this station, or if I am 
to remain, expose me not to danger. I cannot bear to ascend this throne, without effecting 
some great reformation. For if this be impossible, it is better to stand below. Nothing more 
wretched than a ruler who does his people no good. Do exert yourselves, and attend to this, 
I entreat you; and let us strive, and of a surety more will come of it. Fast, entreat God (and 
we will do the same with you) that this pernicious habit may be eradicated. It is no great 
matter, to become teachers to the world; no small honor to have it said everywhere, that 
really in this city there is not a man that swears. If this come to pass, you will receive the 
reward not only of your own good works; indeed what I am to you, this you will become to 
the world. Assuredly others also will emulate you; assuredly you will be a candle set upon 
a candlestick. 

And is this, you will say, the whole matter? No, this is not all, but this is a beginning of 
other virtues. He who swears not, will certainly attain unto piety in other respects, whether 
he will or not, by dint of self-respect and awe. But you will urge that most men do not keep 
to it, but fall away. Well, better one man that doeth the will of the Ford, than ten thousand 
transgressors. In fact, hereby is everything subverted, everything turned upside down, I 
mean, because after the fashion of the Theatre we desire numbers not a select number. For 
what indeed will a multitude be able to profit? Would you learn that it is the saints, not the 
numbers, which make the multitude? head out to war ten hundred thousand men, and one 
saint, and let us see who achieves the most? Joshua the son of Nun went out to war, and 
alone achieved all; the rest were of no use. 209 Wouldest thou see, beloved, that the great 
multitude, when it does not the will of God, is no better than a thing of naught? I wish indeed, 
and desire, and with pleasure would be torn in pieces, to adorn the Church with a multitude, 
yea, but a select multitude; yet if this be impossible, that the few should be select, is my desire. 
Do you not see, that it is better to possess one precious stone, than ten thousand farthing 
pieces? Do you not see that it is better to have the eye sound, than to be loaded with flesh, 
and yet deprived of sight? Do you not see that it is better to have one healthy sheep, than 


208 Ou5ev peya eati y£v. 5t5aoK. rfjc oik. Ou ptxpov k. t. X. The passage is manifestly corrupt, and the mss. 
lend no assistance. Ben. conjecturally, Nihil majus est quam esse doctores orbis: necparum , etc. Ed. Par. Ben. 2. 
Fortasse, oukouv p£ya. But it is more likely that something is wanting, e.g. “It is no great matter [to be free from 
the vice of swearing. But to set an example to others would be a great thing], to be teachers herein of the whole 
world,” etc. 

209 ’A XXa tiou 0eA.£t<; 15av. dyaTtryre, on 6 noXvc; oxXo <; k. r. X. The modern text, '0 itoArx; oxXo q, dyaTTryre, 
k. r. X. 


105 


Homily VIII on Acts Hi. 1. 


ten thousand with the murrain; that fine children, though few, are better than many children 
diseased withal; that in the Kingdom there will be few, but in hell many? What have I to do 
with a multitude? what profit therein? None. Rather they are a plague to the rest. It is as if 
one who had the option of ten healthy persons or ten thousand sick folks, should take to 
himself the latter in addition to the ten. The many who do nothing well, will avail us only 
for punishment hereafter, and disgrace for the time being. For no one will urge it as a point 
in our favor that we are many; we shall be blamed for being unprofitable. In fact, this is what 
men always tell us, when we say, We are many; “aye, but bad,” they answer. 

Behold again: I give warning, and proclaim with a loud voice, let no one think it a 
laughing matter: I will exclude and prohibit the disobedient; and as long as I sit on this 
throne, I will give up not one of its rights. If any one depose me from it, then I am no longer 
responsible; as long as I am responsible, I cannot disregard them; on account not of my own 
punishment, but of your salvation. For I do exceedingly long for your salvation. To advance 
it, I endure pain and vexation. But yield your obedience, that both here and hereafter you 
may receive a plentiful reward, and that we may in common reap eternal blessings; through 
the grace and mercy of the only-begotten Son of God; to Whom with the Father and the 
Holy Ghost be glory, power, and honor, now and ever, world without end. Amen. 


106 



Homily IX on Acts iii. 12. 


Homily IX. 

Acts III. 12 

“And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this, 
or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we have made 
this man to walk?” 

There is greater freedom of speech in this harangue, than in the former. Not that he was 
afraid on the former occasion, but the persons whom he addressed there, being jesters and 
scoffers, would not have borne it. Hence in the beginning of that address he also bespeaks 
their attention by his preamble; “Be this known unto you, and hearken to my words.” (ch. 
ii. 14.) But here there is no need of this management. (KaraoKSurjc;.) For his hearers were 
not in a state of indifference. The miracle had aroused them all; they were even full of fear 
and amazement. Wherefore also there was no need of beginning at that point, but rather 
with a different topic; by which, in fact, he powerfully conciliated them, namely, by rejecting 
the glory which was to be had from them. For nothing is so advantageous, and so likely to 
pacify the hearers, as to say nothing about one’s self of an honorable nature, but, on the 
contrary, to obviate all surmise of wishing to do so. And, in truth, much more did they in- 
crease their glory by despising glory, and showing that what had just taken place was no 
human act, but a Divine work; and that it was their part to join with the beholders in admir- 
ation, rather than to receive it from them. Do you see how clear of all ambition he is, and 
how he repels the honor paid to him? In the same manner also did the ancient fathers; for 
instance, Daniel said, “Not for any wisdom that is in me.” (Dan. ii. 30.) And again Joseph, 
“Do not interpretations belong to God?” (Gen. xi. 8.) And David, “When the lion and the 
bear came, in the name of the Lord I rent them with my hands.” (1 Sam. xvii. 34.) And so 
likewise here the Apostles, “Why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power 
or holiness we had made this man to walk?” (v. 13.) Nay, not even this; for not by our 
own merit did we draw down the Divine influence. “The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, 
and of Jacob, the God of our fathers.” See how assiduously he thrusts himself (doooGei) upon 
the fathers of old, lest he should appear to be introducing a new doctrine. In the former 
address he appealed to the patriarch David, here he appeals to Abraham and the rest. “Hath 
glorified His Servant Jesus.” Again a lowly expression, like as in the opening address. 

210 ’AW’ ou5e rouro’ ou yap, k. t. X. This seems to refer to £uae(3£i(r “but not by our holiness any more than 
by our own power.” The modern text: Ou5e rouro f|p£T£pov, <pr]aiv ou yap, k. t. X. “Not even this is our own, 
he says; for not,” etc. 

211 or, Child, rov itou5a. CEcumen. seems to have considered this as a lowly title, for he says: “And of Christ 
he speaks lowly, rw TtpoaSetvat, rov IlaT5a.” But to this remark he adds, “For that which in itself is glorified, 
can receive no addition of glory.” — Below Ka0d><; £v ru> 7tpootpl& 25T may refer to the prefatory matter (after 

107 


Homily IX on Acts iii. 12. 


But at this point he proceeds to enlarge upon the outrage, and exalts the heinousness 
of the deed, no longer, as before, throwing a veil over it. This he does, wishing to work upon 
them more powerfully. For the more he proved them accountable, the better his purpose 
were effected. “Hath glorified,” he says, “His Servant Jesus, Whom ye delivered up, and 
denied Him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.” The charge 
is twofold: Pilate was desirous to let Him go; you would not, when he was willing. “But ye 
denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed 
the Prince (or Author) of Life: Whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are wit- 
nesses.” (v. 14, 15.) Ye desired a robber instead of Him. He shows the great aggravation of 
the act. As he has them under his hand, he now strikes hard. “The Prince of Life,” he says. 
In these words he establishes the doctrine of the Resurrection. “Whom God hath raised 
from the dead.” (ch. ii. 26.) “Whence doth this appear?” He no longer refers to the Prophets, 
but to himself, inasmuch as now he has a right to be believed. Before, when he affirmed that 
He was risen, he adduced the testimony of David; now, having said it, he alleges the College 
of Apostles. “Whereof we are witnesses,” he says. 

“And His name, through faith in His name, hath made this man strong, whom ye see 
and know: yea, the faith which is by Him hath given him this perfect soundness in the 
presence of you all.” Seeking to declare the matter (^prcov to npaypa rinsiv), he straightway 
brings forward the sign: “In the presence,” he says, “of you all.” As he had borne hard upon 
them, and had shown that He Whom they crucified had risen, again he relaxes, by giving 
them the power of repentance; “And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, 
as did also your rulers.” (v. 17.) This is one ground of excuse. The second is of a different 

kind. As Joseph speaks to his brethren, “God did send me before you (Gen. xiv. 5); what in 
the former speech he had briefly said, in the words, “Him, being delivered by the determinate 
counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken,” — this he here enlarges upon: “But what 
God before had showed by the mouth of all His Prophets, that His Christ should suffer, He 
hath so fulfilled.” (v. 18.) At the same time showing, that it was not of their doing, if this be 
proved, that it took place after God’s counsel. He alludes to those words with which they 


the citation from Joel) of the sermon in ch. ii.: see below, in the Recapitulation, whence we might here supply, 
avwrepw eAeyev, “’Iriaouv rov NaL k. t. A.” “As in the opening address [above, he said: ‘Jesus of Nazareth, a 
man approved of God,’ etc.].” Or, “like as in the opening words of this discourse he speaks in lowly manner of 
themselves.” CEcumen. “He still keeps to lowlier matters, both as to themselves, and as to Christ. As to themselves, 
in saying that not by their own power they wrought the miracle. As to Christ,” etc. 

212 r| Seutepa erepa, A. B. C (N. om. r|) Cat. Namely, the first, “Ye did it ignorantly, as did also your rulers.” 
The second, “It was ordered by the counsel of God:” as below, “And he puts this by way of apology,” etc. The 
Edd. have adopted the absurd innovation, ‘“Through ignorance ye did it:’ this is one ground of excuse: the 
second is, ‘As did also your rulers:’” E. F. D. 


108 


Homily IX on Acts iii. 12. 


had reviled Him on the Cross, namely “Let Him deliver Him, if He will have Him; for He 
said, I am the Son of God. If He trust in God, let Him now come down from the cross.” 
(Matt, xxvii. 42, 43.) O foolish men, were these idle words? It must needs so come to pass, 
and the prophets bear witness thereunto. Therefore if He descended not, it was for no 
weakness of His own that He did not come down, but for very power. And Peter puts this 
by way of apology for the Jews, hoping that they may also close with what he says. “He hath 
so fulfilled,” he says. Do you see now how he refers everything to that source? “Repent ye 
therefore,” he says, “and be converted.” He does not add, “from your sins;” but, “that your 
sins, may be blotted out,” means the same thing. And then he adds the gain: “So shall the 
times of refreshing come from the presence of the Lord.” (v. 19.) This betokens them in a 
sad state, brought low by many wars. 214 For it is to the case of one on fire, and craving 
comfort, that the expression applies. And see now how he advances. In his first sermon, he 
but slightly hinted at the resurrection, and Christ’s sitting in heaven; but here he also speaks 

oi c 

of His visible advent. “And He shall send Jesus the Christ ordained (for you), “Whom 
the heaven must {i.e. must of necessity) receive, until the times of the restitution of all things.” 
The reason why He does not now come is clear. “Which God hath spoken,” he continues, 
“by the mouth of His holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the 

fathers, A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto 
me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.” Before, he had spoken 
of David, here he speaks of Moses. “Of all things,” he says, “which He hath spoken.” But he 


213 Ei nenoiSev, A. C. F. D. N. Cat. and vuv after Kara(3. om. C. F. D. N. Cat. 

214 noAipou; attested by Cat. and CEc. but A. has ttovou;, E. and Edd. KatcoR. In the following sentence, npoq 
yap tov xauaoupEvov xai raxpapuSlav £Tti^r|roOvra outoc; av appoastev 6 Aoyoq, B. and CEc. read KAauaopevov, 
C. F. D. N. KAauaoupEvov, (“to him that shall weep,”) A. xauadpevov, Cat. Kauaoupevov, the true reading. The 
scribes did not perceive that Chr. is commenting on the word dvavJw^EUx;, “refrigeration,” as implying a condition 
of burning: hence the alteration, KAauaopEvov, or in the “Doric” form (Aristoph.) KAauaoupevov. E. and Edd. 
Aio kou ourux; eItiev eISux; on Ttpoc; tov Ttdaxovra xai napapuS. ^rirouvra k. t. X. “Wherefore also he speaks 
thus, knowing that it is to the case of one who is suffering,” etc. — In the text here commented upon, ottux; av 
eABoxh Katpoi avavj;., E.V. makes ora rx; av temporal, “When the times of refreshing,” etc. But here and elsewhere 
in the N.T. Matt. vi. 5; Luke ii. 35; Acts xv. 17; Rom. iii. 4; the correct usage is observed, according to which, 
otuoc; av is nearly equivalent to “so (shall);” i.e. “that (oTtcoq) they may come, as in the event of your repentance 
(av) they certainly shall.” And so Chrys. took the passage: Eira to KepSoq EraxyEV & 169’Onax; av k. t. X. “Then 
he adds the gain: So shall the times,” etc. 

215 tov TtpOK£X£iptap£vov. Other mss. of N.T. read npOKEKqpuypevov, whence Vulg. E.V. “which was before 
preached.” 

216 E.V. has “all,” and so some mss. TtavTWv, and St. Chrys. gives it a little further on. 


109 


Homily IX on Acts iii. 12. 


917 

does not say, “which Christ,” but, “which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy 

prophets since the world began.” (v. 20, 2 1 .) Then he betakes him to the ground of credibility, 
saying, “A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto 
me; Him shall ye hear in all things.” And then the greatness of the punishment: “And it shall 
come to pass, that every soul which will not hear that Prophet, shall be destroyed from 
among the people. Yea, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those that follow, after, as 
many as have spoken have likewise foretold of these days.” (v. 23, 24.) He has done well to 
set the distinction here. For whenever he says anything great, he appeals to them of old. 
And he found a text which contained both truths; just as in the other discourse he said, 
“Until He put His foes under His feet.” (ch. ii. 35.) The remarkable circumstance is, that the 
two things stand together; that is, subjection and disobedience, and the punishment. “Like 
unto me,” he says. Then why are ye alarmed? “Ye are the children of the prophets” (v. 25): 
so that to you they spake, and for your sakes have all these things come to pass. For as they 
deemed that through their outrage they had become alienated (and indeed there is no parity 
of reason, that He Who now is crucified, should now cherish them as His own), he proves 
to them that both the one and the other are in accordance with prophecy. “Ye are the chil- 
dren,” he says, “of the Prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, 
saying unto Abraham, ‘And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.’ Unto 
you first,” he continues, “God having raised up His Son (rov Ila'iSa) sent Him.” “To others 
indeed also, but to you first who crucified Him.” “To bless you,” he adds, “in turning away 
every one of you from his iniquities.” (v. 26.) 

Now let us consider again more minutely what has been read out. (Recapitulation.) In 
the first place, he establishes the point that the miracle was performed by them ; saying, 
“Why marvel ye?” And he will not let the assertion be disbelieved: and to give it more weight, 
he anticipates their judgment. “Why look ye,” he says, “so earnestly on us, as though by our 
own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?” (v. 12.) If this troubles and confounds 
you, learn Who was the Doer, and be not amazed. And observe how on all occasions when 
he refers to God, and says that all things are from Him, then he fearlessly chides them: as 


217 Instead of this clause, “by the mouth.” etc. the Edd. have from E. “Still by keeping the matter in the shade, 
drawing them on the more to faith by gentle degrees.” 

218 Teux; KaraaKeud^et on auroi £Ttotr|aav to 0aupa. i.e. “by saying, Why marvel ye? he makes this good at 
the very outset: You see that a miracle has been wrought, and by us (as the instruments), not by some other man 
(this is the force of the auroi here) . This he will not allow them to doubt for a moment: he forestalls their judgment 
on the matter: you see that it is done by us, and you are inclined to think it was by our own power or holiness,” 
etc. There is no need to insert the negative, on ouk auroi: Erasm. and Ben. Lat. 


110 


Homily IX on Acts iii. 12. 


above where he said, “A man approved of God among you.” (ch. ii. 22.) And on all occasions 
he reminds them of the outrage they had committed, in order that the fact of the Resurrection 
may be established. But here he also subjoins something else; for he no more says, “of Naz- 
areth,” but what? “The God of our fathers hath glorified His Servant Jesus.” (v. 13.) Observe 
also the modesty. He reproached them not, neither did he say at once, “Believe then now: 
behold, a man that has been forty years lame, has been raised up through the name of Jesus 
Christ.” This he did not say, for it would have excited opposition. On the contrary, he begins 
by commending them for admiring the deed, and again calls them after their ancestor: “Ye 
men of Israel.” Moreover, he does not say, It was Jesus that healed him: but, “The God of 
our fathers hath glorified,” etc. But then, lest they should say, How can this stand to reas- 
on — that God should glorify the transgressor? therefore he reminds them of the judgment 
before Pilate, showing that, would they but consider, He was no transgressor; else Pilate had 
not wished to release Him. And he does not say, “when Pilate was desirous,” but, “was de- 
termined to let Him go.” “But ye denied the Holy One,” etc. (v. 13, 14.) Him who had killed 
others, ye asked to be released; Him Who quickeneth them that are killed, ye did not wish 
to have! And that they might not ask again, How should it be that God now glorifies Him, 
when before He gave no assistance? he brings forward the prophets, testifying that so it be- 
hooved to be. “But those things which God before had showed,” etc., ( infra v. 18.) Then, 
lest they should suppose that God’s dispensation was their own apology, first he reproves 
them. Moreover, that the denying Him “to Pilate’s face,” was no ordinary thing; seeing that 
he wished to release Him. And that ye cannot deny this, the man who was asked in preference 
to Him is witness against you. This also is part of a deep dispensation. Here it shows their 
shamelessness and effrontery; that a Gentile, one who saw Him for the first time, should 
have discharged Him, though he had heard nothing striking; while they who had been 
brought up among His miracles, have done the very opposite! For, as he has said, “When 
he (Pilate) had determined to let Him go,” that it may not be imagined that he did this of 
favor, we read, “And he said, It is a custom with you to release one prisoner: will ye therefore 
that I release unto you this man? (Matt, xxvii. 15.) “But ye denied the Holy One and the 
Just.” (Mark xv. 6.) He does not say, “Ye delivered up;” but everywhere, “Ye denied.” For, 
said they, “We have no king but Caesar.” (John xix. 15.) And he does not say only, Ye did 
not beg off the innocent, and, “Ye denied” Him but, “Ye slew” Him. While they were 
hardened, he refrained from such language; but when their minds are most moved, then he 
strikes home, now that they are in a condition to feel it. For just as when men are drunk we 
say nothing to them, but when they are sober, and are recovered from their intoxication 
then we chide them; thus did Peter: when they were able to understand his words, then he 
also sharpened his tongue, alleging against them many charges; that, Whom God had glor- 
ified, they had delivered up; Whom Pilate would have acquitted they denied to his face; that 
they preferred the robber before Him. 


Ill 


Homily IX on Acts iii. 12. 


Observe again how he speaks covertly concerning Christ’s power, showing that He 
raised Himself: just as in his first discourse he had said, “Because it was not possible that 
He should be holden of it” (ch. ii. 24), so here he says, “And killed the Prince of Life.” (v. 
15.) It follows that the Life He had was not from another. The prince (or author) of evil 
would be he that first brought forth evil; the prince or author of murder, he who first origin- 

91 Q 

ated murder; so also the Prince (or Author) of Life must be He Who has Life from Himself. 
“Whom God raised up,” he continues: and now that he has uttered this, he adds, “And his 
name, upon faith in his name, hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know; yea, the 
faith which is by Him hath given Him this perfect soundness. [The faith which is by Him 
p 5i aurou tucjtu;.] And 220 yet it was r] eic; aurov mane;, “the faith which is in Him” (as its 
object) that did all. For the Apostles did not say, “By the name,” but, “In the name,” and it 
was in Him (eic; aurov) that the man believed. But they did not yet make bold to use the 
expression, “The faith which is in Him.” For, that the phrase “By Him” should not be too 
low, observe that after saying, “Upon the faith of His name,” he adds, “His name hath made 
him strong,” and then it is that he says, “Yea, the faith which is by Him hath given him this 
perfect soundness.” Observe how he implies, that in the real ekeivo former expression also 
“Whom God raised up,” he did but condescend to their low attainments. For that Person 
needed not Another’s help for His rising again, Whose Name raised up a lame man, being 
all one as dead. Mark how on all occasions he adduces their own testimony. Thus above, he 
said, “As ye yourselves also know;” and, “In the midst of you:” and here again, “Whom ye 
see and know: in the presence of you all.” (ch. ii. 22.) And yet that it was, “In His name,” 

991 

they knew not: but they did know that the man was lame, that he stands there whole. 
They that had wrought the deed themselves confessed, that it was not by their own power, 
but by that of Christ. And had this assertion been unfounded, had they not been truly per- 
suaded themselves that Christ had risen again, they would not have sought to establish the 


219 Peter sharpens his accusation of them by the following contrasts: (1) This healing at which you wonder 
is to the glory of Christ, not of us. (2) God has glorified whom you have betrayed and denied. (3) This you did 
though Pilate himself would have released him. (4) You preferred to kill the holy and just one and let a murderer 
go free. (5) You sought to put to death the Author of Life. Vv. 12-15. — G.B.S. 

220 The meaning of the following passage is plain enough, but the innovator has so altered it as to make it 
unintelligible. Yet the Edd. adopt his reading (E. D. F.) without notice of the other and genuine reading. “And 
yet if it was f[ eic; aurov mane; that did all, and that (on) it was etc aurov that the man believed, why did (Peter) 
say, not Aid rou ovoparoc;, but ’Ev rw ovopari? Because they did not yet,” etc. 

221 E. has on uyujc; earr|K£v after ouk rjdeaav instead of after rouro rjdeaav. So Commel. Erasm. Ed. Par. 
Hence D. F. have it in both places, and so Morel. Ben. All these omit onbefore ev rw ov. “And yet in His name 
they knew not that he stands whole: but this they knew, that he was lame, (that he stands whole).” Savile alone 
has retained the genuine reading. 


112 


Homily IX on Acts iii. 12. 


honor of a dead man instead of their own, especially while the eyes of the multitude were 
upon them. Then, when their minds were alarmed, immediately he encourages them, by 
the appellation of Brethren, “And now, brethren, I wot, etc.” For in the former discourse 
he foretold nothing, but only says concerning Christ, “Therefore let all the house of Israel 
know assuredly:” here he adds an admonition. There he waited till the people spoke: here, 
he knew how much they had already effected, and that the present assembly was better dis- 
posed toward them. “That through ignorance ye did it.” And yet the circumstances mentioned 
above were not to be put to the score of ignorance. To choose the robber, to reject Him Who 
had been adjudged to be acquitted, to desire even to destroy Him — how should this be re- 
ferred to ignorance? Nevertheless, he gives them liberty to deny it, and to change their mind 
about what had happened. “Now this indeed, that you put to death the innocent, ye knew: 
but that you were killing “the Prince of Life,” this, belike, ye did not know.” And he exculpated 
not them alone, but also the chief contrivers of the evil, “ye and your rulers:” for doubtless 
it would have roused their opposition, had he gone off into accusation. For the evil-doer, 
when you accuse him of some wickedness that he has done, in his endeavor to exonerate 
himself, grows more vehement. And he no longer says, “Ye crucified,” “Ye killed,” but, “Ye 
did it;” leading them to seek for pardon. If those rulers did it through ignorance, much more 
did these present. “But these things which God before had showed,” etc. (v. 18.) But it is 
remarkable, that both in the first and in the second discourse, speaking to the same effect, 
that is, in the former, “By the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God;” and in this, 
“God before had showed that Christ should suffer;” in neither does he adduce any particular 
text in proof. The fact is, that each one of such passages is accompanied with many accusa- 
tions, and with mention of the punishment in store for them [as]; “I will deliver up,” says 
one, “the wicked in requital for His grave, and the rich in return for His death.” (Is. liii. 9.) 
And again, * * * “Those things,” he says, “which God before had showed by the mouth of 
all His prophets, that Christ should suffer, He hath so fulfilled.” It shows the greatness of 
that “counsel,” in that all spoke of it, and not one only. It does not follow, because the 


222 ou5ev Ttpoeuiev, A. B. C. N. i.e. foretold nothing concerning them. Edd. ou5ev Ttepi eaurtov euxev, “said 
nothing concerning (the hearers) themselves.” 

223 There is one extenuating circumstance: they did it in ignorance (Cf. Luk. xxiii. 34; 1 Cor. ii. 8; Acts xiii. 
27). This fact forms the transition-point to the presentation of a different side of the death of Jesus. It was their 
crime, but it was also God’s plan. They did it from motives of blindness and hate, but God designed it for their 
salvation. So that Peter, in effect, says: There is hope for you although you have slain the Lord, for his sacrificial 
death is the ground of salvation. To this view of the death of Christ he now appeals as basis of hope and a motive 
to repentance (ouv v. 19). — G.B.S. 

224 p£ydAr|v Seucvuai ujv (iouArjv, meaning the determinate counsel of God above spoken of. Above, after 
Kai raxA.iv, some other citation is wanting, in illustration of his remark that the prophecies of the Passion are all 
accompanied with denunciations of punishment. 


113 


Homily IX on Acts iii. 12. 


event was through ignorance, that it took place irrespectively of God’s ordinance. See how 
great is the Wisdom of God, when it uses the wickedness of others to bring about that which 
must be. “He hath fulfilled,” he says: that they may not imagine that anything at all is 
wanting; for whatsoever Christ must needs suffer, has been fulfilled. But do not think, that, 
because the Prophets said this, and because ye did it through ignorance, this sufficeth to 
your exculpation. However, he does not express himself thus, but in milder terms says, 
“Repent ye therefore.” (v. 19.) “Why? For either it was through ignorance, or by the dis- 
pensation of God.” “That your sins maybe blotted out.” I do not mean the crimes committed 
at the Crucifixion; perhaps they were through ignorance; but so that your other sins may 
be blotted out: this only. “So shall the times of refreshing come unto you.” Here he speaks 

of the Resurrection, obscurely. For those are indeed times of refreshing, which Paul also 
looked for, when he said, “We that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burthened.” (2 
Cor. v. 4.) Then to prove that Christ is the cause of the days of refreshing, he says, “And He 
shall send Jesus Christ, which before was for you ordained.” (v. 20.) He said not, “That your 
sin may be blotted out,” but, “your sins;” for he hints at that sin also. “He shall send.” And 
whence? Whom the heaven must receive. ’ (v. 21.) Still [“must’ ] receive?” And why 
not simply, Whom the heaven hath received? This, as if discoursing of old times: so, he says, 
it is divinely ordered, so it is settled: not a word yet of His eternal subsistence. — “For Moses 


225 r[ yap Kara ayvotav, r[ Kara oiKOvoplav. Edd. omit this interlocution, Sav. notes it in the margin. “Repent 
ye therefore.” Why repent? for either it was through ignorance, or it was predestinated. (Nevertheless, you must 
repent, to the blotting out of your sins, etc.) 

226 rouro povov, B. C. N. “this is all:” i.e. no more than this: he does not impute that one great sin to them, 
in all its heinousness: he only speaks of their sins in general. A. and the other mss. omit these words. 

227 The reference is hardly to the resurrection, but to the Parousia. To the hope of this event, always viewed 
as imminent, all the expressions: “times of refreshing,” “times of restitution” and “these days” (w. 19-24) un- 
doubtedly refer. So Olshansen, Meyer, Alford, Hackett, Gloag, Lechler and most recent critics. — G.B.S. 

228 The modern text; “Saying this, he does not declare, Whence, but only adds,” etc. — ’AKpr)v Sc^aoSai. Ben. 
Utique suscipere. Erasm. adhuc accipere. It means, Is this still to take place, that he should say ov 5eT 5e^aa0ai, 
as if the event were yet future? And the answer is, “He speaks in reference to former times, i.e. from that point 
of view. (So CEcumen. in loc. to 5eT avri tou e5ei.) And then as to the necessity; this 5eT is not meant in respect 
of Christ’s Divine Nature (for of that he forbears to speak), but the meaning is, So it is ordered,” etc. The report, 
however, is very defective, especially in what follows. He is commenting upon the words, “Until the time of 
restitution (or making good) of all that God spake,” etc. tuxvtcov u>v eMA.r|aev 6 Oeoq, which expression he 
compares with what is said of the Prophet like unto Moses, ttccvtwv oaa av AaAjiarp Christ is that Prophet: and 
what He spake, the Prophets, obscurely indeed, spake before. He adds, that Peter’s mention of the yet future 
fulfilment of all that the Prophets have spoken is calculated also to alarm the hearers. See the further comment 
on these verses at the end of the recapitulation. 


114 


Homily IX on Acts iii. 12. 


indeed said unto the fathers, A Prophet shall the Lord raise up for you:” “Him shall ye hear 
in all things that He shall speak unto you:” and having said, “All things which God hath 
spoken by the mouth of all His holy Prophets,” (v. 22) now indeed he brings in Christ 
Himself. For, if He predicted many things and it is necessary to hear Him, one would not 
be wrong in saying that the Prophets have spoken these things. But, besides, he wishes to 
show that the Prophets did predict the same things. And, if any one will look closely into 
the matter, he will find these things spoken in the Old Testament, obscurely indeed, but 
nevertheless spoken. Who was purposely designed, says he: in Whom there is nothing 
novel. Here he also alarms them, by the thought that much remains to be fulfilled. But if so, 
how says he, “Hath fulfilled?” (v. 18.) The things which it was necessary “that Christ should 
suffer,” are fulfilled: the things which must come to pass, not yet. “A prophet shall the Lord 
God raise up for you from among your brethren, like unto me.” This would most conciliate 
them. Do you observe the sprinkling of low matters and high, side by side, — that He Who 
was to go up into the heavens should be like unto Moses? And yet it was a great thing too. 
For in fact He was not simply like unto Moses, if so be that “every soul which will not 
hear shall be destroyed.” And one might mention numberless other things which show that 
He was not like unto Moses; so that it is a mighty text that he has handled. “God shall raise 
Him up unto you,” says Moses, “from among your brethren,” etc.: consequently Moses 
himself threatens those that should not hear. “Yea, and all the prophets,” etc.: all this is 
calculated to attract “Yea, and all the prophets,” says the Apostle, “from Samuel.” He refrains 
from enumerating them singly, not to make his discourse too long; but having alleged that 
decisive testimony of Moses, he passes by the rest. “Ye,” he says, “are the children of the 
Prophets, and of the covenant which God made.” (v. 25) “Children of the covenant;” that 
is, heirs. For lest they should think that they received this offer from the favor of Peter, he 


229 Ou ouSev vewrepov. Meaning perhaps, that as Christ was from the first designed for the Jews, the Gospel 
is no novelty, as if nothing had been heard of such a Saviour before. E. D. F. wore ou5ev vetorepov, which is 
placed before the citation rov TtpoKey. — Below, A. B. C. N. ’ETtArjpwaev a e5ei naBeiv; ’EnAriptoSq a 5eT yeveaSat 
expijv ouSetuo, which is manifestly corrupt. We restore it thus: ’ETtArjpwaevj'A e5ei TtaSelv £TtAr|pu>0q, a 5e 
yeveaBat expfjv ouSettw. The modern text: ’EitA.fjpu>a£v a e'Set TtaBeTv; ’EjiA.fjpu>a£v, eIttev, ouk eiiAr|pto0r|- 
SetKvuq on a pev Expqv naBetv, EitAfjpwaev a 5e (5eot add. F. D.) yeveaBat AEtiterat en, ouSettw. 

230 C. N. Ou yap 5r) xard Mwota f|v, e! yap nap 6 pi) &k. E^oAoBpeuSfjaerai, pupta 5e etitev ra SetKvuvra 
on ouk eon Kara Mtoaea. B. omits ou yap....i)v, inadvertently passing from t)v ou yap to the subsequent i)v 
el yap. A. omits the words pupta.... on, which disturb the sense of the passage. In the translation we have rejected 
the second yap. For eiTtev, Sav. marg. gives enrol tip av, which we have adopted. The modern text substitutes 
to, Kai, earat for el yap, and inserts Kai aAAa after pupta 5e. 

231 Taura oAa EJiaywya is strangely rendered by Ben. hcec omnia adjecta sunt. But this is the comment, not 
upon the threatening in v. 23, but upon the matters contained in the following verses, 24-26. 


115 


Homily IX on Acts iii. 12. 


shows, that of old it was due to them, in order that they may the rather believe that such 
also is the will of God. “Unto you first,” he continues, “God having raised up His Son Jesus, 
sent Him.” (v. 26.) He does not say simply, “Unto you He sent His Son,” but also, after the 
resurrection, and when He had been crucified. For that they may not suppose that he himself 
granted them this favor, and not the Father, he says, “To bless you.” For if He is your 
Brother, and blesses you, the affair is a promise. “Unto you first.” That is, so far are you 
from having no share in these blessings, that He would have you become moreover promoters 
and authors of them to others. For you are not to feel like castaways. “Having raised up”: 

again, the Resurrection. “In turning away,” he says, “every one of you from his iniquities.” 
In this way He blesses you: not in a general way. And what kind of blessing is this? A great 
one. For of course not the turning a man away from his iniquities is itself sufficient to remit 
them also. And if it is not sufficient to remit, how should it be to confer a blessing? For it is 
not to be supposed that the transgressor becomes forthwith also blessed; he is simply released 
from his sins. But this, “Like unto me,” would no wise apply. “Hear ye Him,” he says; 
and not this alone, but he adds, “And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not 
hear that Prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” When he has shown them 
that they had sinned, and has imparted forgiveness to them, and promised good things, 
then indeed, then he says, “Moses also says the same thing.” What sort of connection is this: 
“Until the times of the restitution;” and then to introduce Moses, saying, that” all that 
Christ said shall come to pass? Then also, on the other hand, he says, as matter of encomium 
(so that for this reason also ye ought to obey): “Ye are the children of the prophets and of 
the covenant:” i.e. heirs. Then why do you stand affected towards that which is your own, 
as if it were another’s? True, you have done deeds worthy of condemnation; still you may 
yet obtain pardon. Having said this, with reason he is now able to say, “Unto you God sent 


232 Mr] yap d><; aTtepptppevoi 5iaK£la0£, B. N. oukouv pirj yap, A. TtdA.iv pi) yap, C. pr] ouv, F. D. Kai yap, Cat. 
oukoOv pr|. E. and Edd., which also add at the end of the sentence, q dmoftepAripevoi, where the other mss. have, 
IldAiv f| dvdaraaiq, as comment on dvaarfjaou;. 

233 To 5e, '0<; epe ouSapou Aoyov av eyor. He had before said, that in the very description of “the Prophet 
like unto Moses,” it is shown that He is more than like Moses: for instance, “Every soul which will not hear,” 
etc. would not apply to Moses. Having finished the description, he now adds, You see that the d><; £p£ nowhere 
holds as the whole account of the matter: to be raised up (from the dead) and sent to bless, and this by turning 
every one from his iniquities, is not to be simply such as Moses. The modern text adds, “Unless it be taken in 
regard of the manner of legislation:” i.e. Christ is like unto Moses considered as Deliverer and Lawgiver, not in 
any other respect. 

234 E. and Edd. “that they shall hear all things which Christ shall say: and this not in a general way, but with 
a fearful menace.” It is a powerful connection, for it shows that for this reason also they ought to obey Him. 
What means it, “Children of the Prophets,” etc. 


116 


Homily IX on Acts iii. 12. 


his Son Jesus to bless you.” He says not, To save you, but what is greater; that the crucified 
Jesus blessed His crucifiers. 

Let us then also imitate Him. Let us cast out that spirit of murder and enmity. It is not 
enough not to retaliate (for even in the Old Dispensation this was exemplified); but let us 
do all as we would for bosom-friends, as we would for ourselves so for those who have injured 
us. We are followers of Him, we are His disciples, who after being crucified, sets everything 
in action in behalf of his murderers, and sends out His Apostles to this end. And yet we 
have often suffered justly; but those acted not only unjustly, but impiously; for He was their 
Benefactor, He had done no evil, and they crucified Him. And for what reason? For the sake 
of their reputation. But He Himself made them objects of reverence. “The scribes and the 
pharisees sit in Moses’ seat; all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that do ye, but 
after their works do ye not.” (Matt, xxiii. 2.) And again in another place, “Go thy way, show 
thyself to the priest.” (ib. viii. 4.) Besides, when He might have destroyed them, He saves 
them. Let us then imitate Him, and let no one be an enemy, no one a foe, except to the 
devil. 

Not a little does the habit of not swearing contribute to this end: I mean to the not giving 
way to wrath: and by not giving way to wrath, we shall not have an enemy either. Lop 

off the oaths of a man, and you have dipt the wings of his anger, you have smothered all his 
passion. Swearing, it is said, is as the wind to wrath. Lower the sails; no need of sails, when 
there is no wind. If then we do not clamor, and do not swear, we have cut the sinews of 
passion. And if you doubt this, j ust put it to experiment. Impose it as a law upon the passion- 
ate man that he shall never swear, and you will have no necessity of preaching moderation 
to him. So the whole business is finished. For even though you do not forswear yourselves 

235 Xeyoi 5f| to pr] opyiijsaSai, as the explanation of etc; rouro. The other text confuses the meaning by sub- 
stituting kou to pf| opy. “Not to swear, and not to be angry, is a great help to this.” Which increases the “intricacy” 
of which Ben. complains in the following passage, where oaths are first said to be the wings of wrath, and then 
are compared to the wind filling the sails. Here instead of, wcmep yap Tiveupa Trjc opyfjc 6 opKop, <pr]aiv, earl, 
(cited as an apothegm), the modern text gives, wottep yap Jtv. r| opyf| Kai 6 opxo<; can. “For wrath and swearing 
is as a wind.” The imagery is incongruous: oaths, the wings of wrath: oaths the wind, and wrath (apparently) 
the sails: but the alterations do not mend the sense. 

236 kSv yap pf| ETnopKfjTE, opvuvT£<; oA.u>c ouk lore. The modern text, teat oute EmopKrjaETE, oute opoa£a0£ 
oAtop. Ouk ujte. Which does not suit the context. “Make it a law with the passionate man, never to swear. . . .The 
whole affair is finished, and you will neither perjure yourselves, nor swear at all.” He seems to be speaking of 
oaths and imprecations, by which a man in the heat of passion binds himself to do or suffer some dreadful thing. 
“Suppose you do not perjure yourself, yet think of the misery you entail upon yourself: you must either study 
all sorts of expedients to deliver your soul, or, since that cannot be without perjury, you must spend your life in 
misery, etc. and curse your wrath.” — ’AvayKr| nvi Kai Seapu), with comma preceding: so Sav. but A. B. C. avdyKr| 
nom. preceded by a full stop: “For needs must you, binding yourselves as with a cord,” etc: and so the modern 


117 


Homily IX on Acts Hi. 12. 


[yet], by swearing at all, do you not know in what absurd consequences you involve 
yourselves — binding yourselves to an absolute necessity and as with a cord, and putting 
yourselves to all manner of shifts, as men studying how to rescue their soul from an evil 
which there is no escaping, or, failing of that, obliged [by that self-imposed necessity] to 
spend your life thenceforth in vexation, in quarrels, and to curse your wrath? But all is in 
vain, and to no purpose. Threaten, be peremptory (Siopioai), do all, whatever it be, without 
swearing; [so]: it is in your power to reverse (avaAuoai) both what you have said and what 
you have done if you have the mind. Thus on the present day I must needs speak more 
gently to you. For since ye have heard me, and the greater part of the reformation is achieved 
by you, now then let us see for what purpose the taking of oaths was introduced, and why 
allowed to be. In relating to you their first origin, and when they were conceived, and how, 
and by whom we shall give you this account in requital for your obedience. For it is fit that 
he who has made his practice right, should be taught the philosophy of the matter, but he 
who is not yet doing the right, is not worthy to be told the history. 

They made many covenants in Abraham’s time, and slew victims, and offered sacrifices, 
and as yet oaths were not. Whence then did they come in? When evil increased, when all 
was confusion, upside down, when men had turned aside to idolatry: then it was, then, when 
men appeared no longer worthy to be believed, that they called God as witness, as if thereby 
giving an adequate surety for what they said. Such in fact is the Oath: it is a security where 
men’s principles cannot be trusted. So that in the indictment of the swearer the first 
charge is this, — that he is not to be trusted without a surety, and a great surety too: for such 
is the exceeding faithlessness, that they ask not man as surety, but will needs have God! 
Secondly, the same charge lies against him who receives the oath: that, in a question of 
compact, he must drag in God for warranty, and refuse to be satisfied unless he get Him. O 
the excessive stupidity, the insolence of such conduct! Thou, a worm, earth and dust, and 
ashes, and vapor, to drag in thy Lord as the surety, and to compel the other to drag Him in 
likewise! Tell me, if your servants were disputing with each other, and exchanging” assur- 
ances with each other, and the fellow-servant should declare that for his part he would not 
be satisfied till he had their common master given him for surety, would he not have stripes 
given him without number, and be made to know that the master is for other purposes, and 


text, with other alterations (adopted by Sav.) which are meant to simplify the construction, but do not affect the 
sense. Below, ’Ejt£i5r| yap nKOuaare, teat to ttAcov uptv KaTWpStOTai. Ben makes this a sentence by itself, Quia 
enim audistis, magna pars res a vobis perfecta est. Savile connects it with the following, epepe 5f[ K. t. X. See p. 53, 
where he alludes to some who laughed at him, perhaps even on the spot. 

237 Touto yap opKoc; earl, Tpoittov aTucrroupevtov eyyur|. 

238 TtioTOupcvtov eaurouc;, A. B. C. N. as in the phrase TuarouaSat rtva (opKto), “to secure a person’s good 
faith by oath.” Edd. dunaTOupevtov eaurou;, “being objects of distrust to each other.” 


118 



Homily IX on Acts Hi. 12. 


9 

not to be put to any such use as this? Why do I speak of a fellow- servant? - For should he 
choose any respectable person, would not that person consider it an affront? But I do not 
wish to do this, say you . 240 Well: then do not compel the other to do so either: since where 
men only are in question, this is done — if your party says, “I give such an one as my surety,” 
you do not allow him. “What then,” say you, “am I to lose what I have given?” I am not 
speaking of this; but that you allow him to insult God. For which reason greater shall be the 
inevitable punishment to him who forces the oath upon another, than to him who takes it: 
the same holds with regard to him who gives an oath when no one asks him. And what 
makes it worse, is, that every one is ready to swear, for one farthing, for some petty item, 
for his own injustice. All this may be said, when there is no perjury; but if perjury follow in 
the train, both he that imposes and he that takes the oath have turned everything upside 
down. “But there are some things,” you will say, “which are unknown.” Well take these into 
account, and do nothing negligently; but, if you do act negligently, take the loss to yourself 
as your punishment. It is better to be the loser thus, than in a very different way. For tell 
me — you force a man to take an oath, with what expectation? That he will forswear himself? 
But this is utter insanity; and the judgment will fall upon your own head; better you should 
lose your money, than he be lost. Why act thus to your own detriment, and to the insulting 
of God? This is the spirit of a wild beast, and of an impious man. But you do this in the ex- 
pectation that he will not forswear himself? Then trust him without the oath. “Nay, there 
are many,” you reply, “who in the absence of an oath would presume to defraud; but, once 
the oath taken, would refrain.” You deceive yourself, man. A man having once learnt to 
steal, and to wrong his neighbor, will presume full oft to trample upon his oath; if on the 
contrary he shrinks from swearing, he will much more shrink from injustice. “But he is in- 
fluenced against his will.” Well then, he deserves pardon. 

But why am I speaking of this kind of oaths, while I pass over those in the market-place? 
For as regards these last, you can urge none of these pleas. For ten farthings you there have 
swearing and forswearing. In fact, because the thunderbolt does not actually fall from 
heaven, because all things are not overthrown, you stand holding God in your bonds: to get 
a few vegetables, a pair of shoes, for a little matter of money, calling Him to witness. What 
is the meaning of this? Do not let us imagine, that because we are not punished, therefore 
we do not sin; this comes of God’s mercy; not of our merit. Let your oath be an imprecation 
upon your own child, upon your own self: say, “Else let the hangman lash my ribs.” But you 


239 opoSouAov. So the mss. but we should have expected 5£OJt6rr|v, “the master.” 

240 'AXX ey u> ou (louAopai, <pr|cn. “I do not wish [so to insult God]. — Then do not oblige the other to do so: 
[nay, do not suffer him:] just as, should he pretend to name as his surety some person with whom he has no 
right to take such a liberty, ai> ouk avexn you would not allow him.” That this is the meaning, is shown by what 
follows: on tov 0eov upptaat avexiT “he insults God, and you suffer him to do it.” 


119 



Homily IX on Acts Hi. 12. 


dare not. Is God less valuable than thy ribs? is He less precious than thy pate? Say “Else let 
me be struck blind.” But no. Christ so spares us, that He will not let us swear even by our 
own head; and yet we so little spare the honor of God, that on all occasions we must drag 
Him in! Ye know not what God is, and with what sort of lips he behooves to be invoked. 
Why, when we speak of any man of eminent worth, we say, “First wash your mouth, and 
then make mention of him:” and yet, that precious Name which is above every name, the 
Name which is marvellous in all the earth, the Name which devils hear and tremble, we haul 
about as we list! Oh! the force of habit! thereby has that Name become cheap. No doubt, if 
you impose on any one the necessity of coming into the sacred edifice to take his oath there, 
you feel that you have made the oath an awful one. And yet how is it that it seems awful in 
this way, but because we have been in the habit of using that at random, but not this? For 
ought not a shudder of awe to be felt when God is but named? But now, whereas among 
the Jews His Name was held to be so reverend, that it was written upon plates, and none 
was allowed to wear the characters except the high-priest alone: we bandy about His Name 
like any ordinary word. If simply to name God was not allowed to all; to call Him to witness, 
what audacity is it! nay, what madness! For if need were (rather than this) to fling away all 
that you have, ought you not readily to part with all? Behold, I solemnly declare and testify; 
reform these oaths of the forum, these superfluous oaths , 241 and bring to me all those who 
wish to take them. Behold, in the presence of this assembly, I charge those who are set apart 
for the tending of the Houses of Prayer, I exhort and issue this order to them, that no person 
be allowed to take such oaths at his own discretion: or rather, that none be allowed to swear 
in any other way, but that the person be brought to me, whosoever he be, since even for 
these matters less will not serve but they must needs come before us, just as if one had to 
do with little children. May there be no occasion! It is a shame in some things still to need 
to be taught. Do you dare to touch the Holy Table, being a person unbaptized? No, but what 


241 Touq Ttepittouq, Kori Jtdvraq epoi oyoyzxz. E. and Edd. for touq ttepirtouq Kori have touq 5e pir) TteiSopevouq. 
The following passage relates to a practice of swearing by touching, the Sacred Volume on the Holy Table. 
Against this custom he inveighs in one of his Sermons ad Pop. Antioch, xv. §. 5. (t. ii. 158. E.) “What art thou 
doing, O man? On the Holy Table, and where Christ lies sacrificed, there sacrificest thou thy brother? .... sacrificest 
him in the midst of the Church, and that, with the death to come, the death which dieth not? Was the Church 
made for this, that we should come there to take oaths? No, but that we should pray there. Does the Table stand 
there, that we should make men swear thereby? No, it stands there that we may lose sins, not that we may bind 
them. But do thou, if nothing else, at least reverence the very Volume which thou holdest forth to the other to 
swear by: the very Gospel which thou, taking in thine hands, biddest the other make oath thereby, — open it, 
read what Christ there saith concerning oaths, and shudder, and desist.” — Here, he forbids the sacristans to 
admit persons for any such purpose. “Let such be brought to me, since I must needs be the person to be troubled 
with these things, as if you were little children, needing to be taught such a simple matter as this.” 


120 



Homily IX on Acts iii. 12. 


is still worse, you the baptized dare to lay your hand upon the Holy Table, which not even 
all ordained persons are allowed to touch, and so to take your oath. Now you would not go 
and lay your hand upon the head of your child, and yet do you touch the Table, and not 
shudder, not feel afraid? Bring these men to me; I will judge, and send them away rejoicing, 
both the one and the other. Do what you choose; I lay it down as a law that there be no 
swearing at all. What hope of salvation, while we thus make all to have been done in vain? 
Is this the end of your bills, and your bonds, that you should sacrifice your own soul? What 
gain do you get so great as the loss? Has he forsworn himself? You have undone both him 
and yourself. But has he not? even so still you have undone (both), by forcing him to trans- 
gress the commandment . 244 Let us cast out this disease from the soul: at any rate let us drive 
it out of the forum, out of our shops, out of our other work-places; our profits will but be 
the greater. Do not imagine that the success of your worldly plans is to be ensured by 
transgressions of the Divine laws. “But he refuses to trust me,” say you; and in fact I have 
sometimes heard this said by some: “Unless I swear oaths without number, the man will 
not trust me.” Yes, and for this you may thank yourself, because you are so off-hand with 
your oaths. For were it not so, but on the contrary were it clear to all men that you do not 
swear, take my word for it, you would be more readily believed upon your mere nod, than 
those are who swallow oaths by thousands. For look now: which do you more readily believe? 
me who do not swear, or those that do swear? “Yes,” say you, “but then you are ruler and 
bishop.” Then suppose I prove to you that it is not only for that reason? Answer me with 
truth, I beseech you; were I in the habit of perpetually swearing, would my office stand me 
in that stead? Not a whit. Do you see that it is not for this reason? And what do you gain at 
all? Answer me that. Paul endured hunger; do you then also choose to hunger rather than 
to transgress one of the commandments of God. Why are you so unbelieving? Here are you, 
ready to do and suffer all things for the sake of not swearing: and shall not He reward you? 
Shall He, Who sustains day by day both takers and breakers of oaths, give you over to hunger, 
when you have obeyed Him? Let all men see, that of those who assemble in this Church not 


242 i.e. to take an oath by the head of your child. So in the Tract, de Virgin, t. i. 309 D. it is remarked, that 
“men of rude and dull minds, who do not scruple to swear by God in great matters and small, and break their 
oath without remorse, would not for a moment think of swearing by the head of their children: although the 
perjury is more heinous, and the penalty more dreadful, in the former than in the latter case, yet they feel this 
oath more binding than that.” 

243 Kat xoupovrai; eKatepouq dmoTiepi|)to. i. e. “both of them glad (to be rid of the quarrel):” unless it is a 
threat, in the form of an ironical antiphrasis. In a law-suit one party comes off rejoicing (xoupwv): here let both 
exult — if they can. 

244 Matt. v. 34. “Swear not at all:” which St. Chrysostom (as the surest remedy) would enforce literally, and 
without any exception. 


121 


Homily IX on Acts Hi. 12. 


one is a swearer. By this also let us become manifest, and not by our creed alone; let us have 
this mark also to distinguish us both from the Gentiles and from all men. Let us receive it 
as a seal from heaven, that we may everywhere be seen to be the King’s own flock. By our 
mouth and tongue let us be known, in the first place, just as the barbarians are by theirs: 
even as those who speak Greek are distinguished from barbarians, so let us be known. Answer 
me: the birds which are said to be parrots, how are they known to be parrots? is it not by 
speaking like men? Let us then be known by speaking like the Apostles; by speaking like the 
Angels. If any one bid you swear tell him, “Christ has spoken, and I do not swear.” This is 
enough to make a way for all virtue to come in. It is a gate to religion, a high road leading 
to the philosophy of piety ; 245 a kind of training-school. These things let us observe, that we 
may obtain also the future blessings, through the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
to Whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost together be glory, power and honor, now and 
ever, world without end. Amen. 


245 A. B. C. N. Sav. Ben. '05o<; eni cpiAoaoqnav euXafietaq elaaYOuaor (N. ayouaor) JtaAaiarpa tic; can. E. F. 
D. omit euAa(3eta<;, and so Commel. Morel. It would be better transferred (as remarked by Ed. Par.) to the next 
clause: “a training-school for piety.” 


122 



Homily X on Acts iv. 1. 


Homily X. 

Acts IV. 1 

“And as they spake unto the people, there came unto them the priests, and the captain of the 
temple. ” 

Ere yet they had time to take breath after their first trials, straightway they enter into 
others. And observe how the events are disposed. First, they were all mocked together; this 
was no small trial: secondly, they enter into dangers. And these two things do not take place 
in immediate succession; but when first the Apostles have won admiration by their two 
discourses, and after that have performed a notable miracle, thereupon it is that, after they 
are waxen bold, through God’s disposal, they enter the lists. But I wish you to consider, how 
those same persons, who in the case of Christ must need look out for one to deliver Him 
up to them, now with their own hands arrest the Apostles, having become more audacious 
and more impudent since the Crucifixion. In truth, sin, while it is yet struggling to the birth, 
is attended with some sense of shame; but when once fully born, it makes those more 
shameless who practise it. “And the captain of the temple,” it is said. The object again was 
to attach a public criminality to what was doing, and not to prosecute it as the act of private 
individuals: such in fact was constantly their plan of proceeding. 

“Being grieved that they taught the people.” (v. 2.) Not merely because they taught, but 
because they declared, not alone that Christ Himself was risen from the dead, but moreover, 
that we through Him do rise again. “Because they taught the people, and preached through 
Jesus the resurrection of the dead.” So mighty was His Resurrection, that to others also He 
is the cause of a resurrection. 246 “And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto 
the next day; for it was now eventide, (v. 3.) What impudence! They 247 feared not the mul- 
titude; for this also the captain of the temple was with them: they had their hands still reeking 
with the blood of the former victim. “For it was now eventide,” it is said. It was with the 
wish to abate their spirit that those men did this, and guarded them; but the delay only 
served to make the Apostles more intrepid. And consider who these are who are arrested. 


246 It is more likely that KarayysA-eiv ev rw ’Ir|aou triv avaaraaiv k. t. X. means “to declare in (the case of) 
Jesus the resurrection,” i.e. that the reference is specifically to the resurrection of Jesus instead of (as Chrys.) to 
the resurrection generally. — G.B.S. 

247 So A. C. N. Cat. but B. omits ouk. Edd. “They had their hands still reeking with the blood of their former 
victim and they were not chilled (svapKWv), but again laid them upon others, to fill them with fresh blood. Or 
perhaps also they feared them as having now become a multitude, and for this reason the captain,” etc. But the 
statement, ouk eSetoav to TtA.rj0o<; is explained in the Recapitulation: they led Christ to trial immediately, for 
fear of the multitude; but not so here. 


123 


Homily X on Acts iv. 1. 


They are the chiefs of the Apostles, who are now become a pattern to the rest, that they 
should no longer crave each other’s support, nor want to be together. “Howbeit, many 
having heard the word, believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.” (v. 
4.) How was this? Did they see them in honor? Did they not behold them put in bonds? 
How then did they believe? Do you see the evident efficacy? And yet even those that believed 
already might well have become weaker. But no, it is no longer so: for Peter’s sermon had 
laid the seed deep into them, and had taken a hold upon their understandings. Therefore 
were [their enemies] incensed, that they did not fear them, that they made no account of 
their present troubles. For, say they, if He that was crucified effects such great things, and 
makes the lame to walk, we fear not these men either. This again is of God’s ordering. 
For those who now believe were more numerous than the former. Therefore it was that in 
their presence they bound the Apostles, to make them also more fearful. But the reverse 
took place. And they examine them not before the people, but privately, that the hearers 
may not profit by their boldness. 

“And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, and Annas 
the High Priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred 
of the High Priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.” (v. 5, 6.) For now along with the 
other evils (of the times 249 ), the Law was no longer observed. And again they set off the 
business with the form of a tribunal, to constitute them guilty by their iniquitous sentence. 
“And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, 
have ye done this?” (v. 7.) And yet they knew it well; for it was because they were “grieved 
that they preached through Jesus the resurrection” that they arrested them. Then for what 
purpose do they question them? They expected the numbers present would make them recant, 
and thought by this means to have put all right again. Observe then what they say: “And by 
what name have ye done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them.” (v. 
8.) And now, I pray you, call to mind Christ’s saying; “When they deliver you up unto the 
synagogues, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall speak; for it is the Spirit of your 
Father which speaketh in you. (Luke xii. 1 1, 14.) So that it was a mighty Power they enjoyed. 


248 C. D. E. F. ”Ei yap 6 araupwSeiq <pr|H roiaura epya^erai, Kai tov xwAov av£arr|aev, ou <po(3oup£0a ou5e 
toutoin;. A. B. N. epyaijeTai, ou5e toutouc; <po(3oup£0or tov xuAov av£arr|a£, and so Cat. which however has 
£arr|aav. The meaning is obscure, especially the emphatic ou5e toutoin;: but perhaps it may be explained: “He 
was crucified; they did their worst to Him, to how little purpose! therefore neither need we fear these men, what 
they can do to us.” But the report is otherwise so defective and confused, that perhaps what Chrys. actually said 
here was meant of the priests: “We were able to crucify the Master, therefore we do not fear these common men, 
His followers, though, as they say, it is He that does these works, that made the lame man walk.” 

249 Something is wanting here: perhaps a remark on the mention of Annas as the high-priest, whereas elsewhere 
Caiaphas appears to have been high-priest shortly before. 


124 


Homily X on Acts iv. 1. 


What then says Peter? “Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel.” Mark the Christian 
wisdom of the man; how full of confidence it is: he utters not a word of insult, but says with 
respect, “Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, if we be this day called to account of 
the good deed done to the impotent man.” He takes them in hand right valiantly; by the 
opening of his speech he exposes them, and reminds them of the former things: that it 
is for a work of beneficence they are calling them to account. As if he had said, “In all fairness 
we ought to have been crowned for this deed, and proclaimed benefactors; but since “we 
are even put upon our trial for a good deed done to an impotent man,” not a rich man, not 
powerful, not noble — and yet who would feel envy in a case like this?” It is a most forcible 
(dnayysAia, al. enayysAia) way of putting the case; and he shows that they are piercing their 
own selves: — “By what means this man is made whole: be it known unto you all, and to all 
the people Israel; that by the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth:” — this is what would vex 
them most. For this was that which Christ had told the disciples, “What ye hear in the ear 
that preach ye upon the housetops. — That in the name of Jesus Christ,” he says, “of Nazareth, 
Whom ye crucified, Whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand 
here before you whole.” (v. 10). (Matt. x. 27.) Think not, he says that we conceal the country, 
or the nature of the death. “Whom ye crucified, Whom God raised from the dead, even by 
Him doth this man stand before you whole.” Again the death, again the resurrection. “This 
is the stone,” he says, “which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head 
of the corner.” (v. 11.) He reminds them also of a saying which was enough to frighten them. 
For it had been said, “Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever 
it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. (Matt. xxi. 44.) — Neither is there salvation in any 
other, (v. 12.) Peter says. What wounds, think you, must these words inflict on them! “For 
there is none other name,” he continues, “under heaven given among men, whereby we 

TCI 

must be saved.” Here he utters also lofty words. For when the object is, not to carry some 

point successfully, but only to show boldness he does not spare; for he was not afraid of 


250 duo too Ttpootplou 5i£Kwpu)5qacv, i.e. “You, the rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, — to make it a 
crime,” etc. For this, which is the reading of the other mss. and the Catena, E. alone has Kai 5t£Kw5u)via£, paAAov 
5e auroix; Kal avEpvqaev k. t. X. “And he rung them, nay, rather also reminded them,” etc. AiaKto5wvl^£iv is 
a word elsewhere used by St. Chrys., and would suit the passage very well, either as “he put their unsoundness 
to the proof (like false metal, or cracked earthenware),” or “he sounded an alarm in their ears:” but the other is 
equally suitable, and better accredited here. Below, ’ETt£t5f| 5 e Kai Kpivop£0a k. r. X. — Cat. £Tt£t 5e. Edd. vuv 5e. 

251 "Orav yap pf| f| riKaropBwaat. Quando enim non est aliquid prceclare agendum. Ben. Non est corrigendum 
aliquid, Erasm. But see the comment in the recapitulation. “Where need was to teach, they allege prophecies; 
where, to show boldness, they affirm peremptorily.” Katop0u>aai, “to carry their point,” “to come off in the 
right;” viz. here, to convince by argument. 


125 


Homily X on Acts iv. 1. 


striking too deep. Nor does he say simply, “By another;” but, “Neither is there salvation in 
any other:” that is, He is able to save us. In this way he subdued their threatening. 

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were un- 
learned and ignorant men, they marvelled and they took knowledge of them, that they had 
been with Jesus.” (v. 13.) The two unlearned men beat down with their rhetoric them and 
the chief priests. For it was not they that spake, but the grace of the Spirit. “And beholding 
the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.” (v. 14.) 
Great was the boldness of the man; that even in the judgment-hall he has not left them. For 
had they said that the fact was not so, there was he to refute them. “But when they had 
commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, saying, 
What are we to do to these men?” (v. 15.) See the difficulty they are in, and how the fear of 
men again does everything. As in the case of Christ, they were not able (as the saying is) to 
undo what is done, nor to cast it into the shade, but for all their hindering, the Faith did 
but gain ground the more; so was it now. “What shall we do?” O the folly! to suppose that 
those who had tasted of the conflict, would now take fright at it: to expect, impotent as their 
efforts had proved in the beginning, to effect something new, after such a specimen of oratory 
as had been exhibited! The more they wished to hinder, the more the business grew upon 
their hands. But what say they? “For that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them 
is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no 
further among the people, let us straightly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no 
man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all, nor 
teach, in the name of Jesus.” (v. 16-18.) See what effrontery is shown by these, and what 
greatness of mind by the Apostles. “But Peter and John answered and said unto them, 
Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. 
For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. So when they had further 
threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because 
of the people.” (v. 19-21.) The miracles shut their mouths: they would not so much as let 
them finish their speech, but cut them short in the middle, most insolently. “For all men 
glorified God for that which was done. For the man was above forty years old, on whom 
this miracle of healing was showed.” (v. 22.) But let us look over what has been said from 
the beginning. 

“And as they spake unto the people, etc. Being grieved that they taught the people, and 
preached through Jesus the resurrection of the dead.” (Recapitulation, v. 1, 2.) So then 


252 avarpevjiai (<pr|aiv) to yevopevov ouk evi, A. B. C. Cat. A proverbial expression. Edd. dvarpeijm to 
yevopevov ouk idxuaav, “Since then they had not power to undo,” etc. 

253 We have supplied the text, instead of which C. inserts, “What shall we do to these men?” adopted by E. 
and Edd. Below, after the text 5. 28. E. inserts the latter part of v. 17. “Let us straitly threaten them,” etc. 


126 


Homily X on Acts iv. 1. 


at first they did all for the sake of man’s opinion (or glory): but now another motive was 
added: that they should not be thought guilty of murder, as they said subsequently, “Do ye 
wish to bring this man’s blood on us?” (ch. v. 28.) O the folly! Persuaded that He was risen, 
and having received this proof of it, 254 they expected that He Whom death could not hold, 

ncc 

could be cast into the shade by their machinations! What can match the folly of this! 
Such is the nature of wickedness: it has no eyes for anything, but on all occasions it is thrown 
into perturbation. Finding themselves overborne, they felt like persons who have been out- 
witted: as is the case with people who have been forestalled and made a sport of in some 
matter. And yet” they everywhere affirmed that it was God that raised Him: but it was 
“in the Name of Jesus” that they spake; showing that Jesus was risen. “Through Jesus, the 
resurrection of the dead”: for they themselves also held a resurrection: a cold and puerile 
doctrine, indeed, but still they held it. Why this alone, was it not sufficient to induce them 
to do nothing to them — I mean, that the disciples with such boldness bore themselves in 
the way they did? Say, wherefore, O Jew, dost thou disbelieve? Thou oughtest to have attended 
to the sign done, and to the words, not to the evil disposition of the many. “By their teaching 
the people.” For already they were in ill repute with them by reason of what they had 
done to Christ; so that they were rather increasing their own obloquy. “And they laid hands 
on them, and put them in hold until the morrow; for it was now eventide.” (v. 3.) In the 
case of Christ, however, they did not so; but having taken Him at midnight, they immediately 
led him away, and made no delay, being exceedingly in fear of the multitude: whereas in 
the case of the Apostles here, they were bold. And they no more take them to Pilate, being 


254 All our mss. and Cat. 7T£ia0£vio<; on ovectti, Kai rouro (A. C. N. rourou, Cat. to) t£K(i. Aa[3., on £ari 
0 eo<;, except that B. reads on av £<xcr| 0 eo<;. Hence we read, on avEOTfi. The repetition of these words may have 
led to the alteration. 

255 The modern text adds, “And marvel not that they again attempt what had been vainly essayed before.” 

256 Kai pijv avw Kai Kano cAcyov. E. F. D. for the sake of connection insert 5ta touto before eXeyov, adopted 
in Edd. 

257 The same mss. and Edd. “And that in the Name of Jesus, this man stands before you whole.” And below: 
“And besides, they themselves held, etc....: but now they disbelieve and are troubled, taking counsel to do 
something to them.” Again, after “the wickedness of the many:” — “And pray why do they not deliver them up 
to the Romans? Already they were,” etc. All these variations are due to the innovator, who did not perceive that 
the recapitulation began at the place marked above. 

258 The modern text inserts Kai ri SrJnoTE ou napa5i56aatv autoix; 'Ptopaiotq “And why do they not deliver 
them over to the Romans? Already they were,” etc. And after wars paAAov Eaurouc; EKaKtiJov, the same adds, 
UTi£pTi0£p£voi rf|v aurtov evSei^iv and below, “But concerning these, they neither were bold, nor yet do they 
take them to Pilate.” 


127 


Homily X on Acts iv. 1. 


ashamed and blushing at the thought of the former affair, lest they should also be taken to 
task for that. 

“And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes were 
gathered together at Jerusalem.” (v. 5.) Again in Jerusalem: and there it is that men’s blood 
is poured out; no reverence for their city either; “And Annas, and Caiaphas,” etc. (v. 6.) 
“And Annas,” it says, “and Caiaphas.” His maid-servant it was that questioned Peter, and 
he could not bear it: in his house it was that Peter denied, when Another was in bonds there: 
but now, when he has come into the midst of them all, see how he speaks! “By what name 
have ye done this?” Why dost thou not speak it, what it is, but keepest that out of sight? “By 
what name have ye done this?” (v. 7.) And yet he affirmed, It was not we that did it. “Ye 
rulers of the people,” etc. (v. 8.) Observe his wisdom: he does not say outright, “In the Name 
of Jesus we did it,” but how? “In His Name this man” — He does not say, “was made whole 
by us;” but — “doth stand here before you whole.” And again, “If we be examined concerning 
the good deed done to the impotent man.” (v. 9.) He hits them hard, that they are always 
making a crime of such acts, finding fault with works of beneficence done to men: and he 
reminds them of their former doings, that they run to do murder, and not only so, but make 
a crime of doing good deeds. Do you observe too (in point of rhetoric) with what dignity 
they express themselves? Even in the use of words they were becoming expert by practice, 

and henceforth they were not to be beaten down. “Be it known unto you all,” etc. (v. 10.) 
Whereby he shows them that they rather do, in spite of themselves, preach Christ; themselves 
extol the doctrine, by their examining and questioning. O exceeding boldness — “Whom ye 
crucified! Whom God raised up” — this is bolder still! Think not that we hide what there is 
to be ashamed of. He says this all but tauntingly: and not merely says it, but dwells upon 
the matter. “This,” says he, “is the Stone which was set at naught by you builders;” and then 
he goes on to teach them, saying in addition, “Which is made the head of the corner” (v. 
11.); that is to say, that the Stone is indeed approved! Great was the boldness they now had, 
in consequence of the miracle. And when there was need to teach, observe how they speak 
and allege many prophecies; but when the point was to use boldness of speech, then they 
only speak peremptorily. Thus “Neither,” says he, “is there any other name under heaven 


259 mix; e'xei kou to (3apu ra p& 208’para; Kai A/ toutok; eyupvaiJovTO. i.e. “how their words have the rhetor- 
ical quality of to (3apu — grave and dignified impressiveness. Even in these, i.e. in the use of words,” etc. 

260 Chrys. rightly remarks upon the great boldness and force of Peter’s answer to the Sanhedrin (8-12). The 
ei dvaKptvop£0a, k. t. X. (9) is ironical: “If for doing a good deed a man must make answer.” Then follow the 
bold declarations which are almost of the nature of a challenge (10) “Be it known to you all, ” etc. , and the assertion 
that it was in the name which they despised — the “Nazarene” — that the miracle had been wrought and all this 
is pointed by the contrast: “Ye crucified” but “God raised” and the charge of opposition to the divine plan in 
that they had rejected the stone which God had made the head of the corner. — G.B.S. 


128 


Homily X on Acts iv. 1. 


given among men whereby we must be saved.” (v. 12.) It is manifest to all, he says, because 
not to us alone was that Name given; he cites even themselves as witnesses. For, since they 
asked, “In what name did ye it?” “In Christ’s,” says he: “there is none other name. How is 
it that ye ask? On all hands this is palpable. “For there exists not another name under heaven, 
whereby we must be saved.” This is the language of a soul which has renounced 
(KarsyvojKuiac;) this present life. His exceeding out-spokenness proves here, that when he 
speaks in lowly terms of Christ, he does it not of fear, but of wise forbearance 
(cuyKaraPaivoov): but now that it was the fitting time, he speaks not in lowly terms: by this 
very thing intending to strike dismay into them. Behold another miracle not less than the 
former. “And beholding the boldness of Peter and John,” etc. “And they took knowledge of 
them that they had been with Jesus.” (v. 13.) Not without a meaning has the Evangelist set 
down this passage; but in saying, “they recognized them that they had been with Jesus,” he 
means, in His Passion: for only these were [with Him] at that time, and then indeed they 
had seen them humble, dejected: and this it was that most surprised them: the greatness of 
the change. For in fact Annas and Caiaphas with their company were there, and these then 
also had stood by Him, and their boldness now amazed them. “And beholding the boldness.” 
For not only their words; their very bearing showed it; that they should stand there so 
intrepidly to be tried in a cause like this, and with uttermost peril impending over them! 
Not only by their words, but by their gesture also, and their look and voice, and, in short, 
by everything about them, they manifested the boldness with which they confronted the 
people. From the things they uttered, they marvelled, perhaps: “that they were unlearned 
and common men:” for one may be unlearned, yet not a common or private man, and a 
common man, yet not unlearned. “Having perceived,” it says. Whence? From what they 

261 Ou yap ra p& 208-para povov, xai ra axqpara eSeiKvuvro zb acppovnotax; earavai Ttepi roiourwv 
Kptvopevouq. A. C. but the former has eSetKvuov, N. eSencvu. Our other mss. have, ou yap tote; p& 208’paai 
povov eSeiKvuvro dcppovTiaroOvTEq it. r. Kptvopevot: which is only an attempt to make the passage grammatical. 
The comment is on the word ©etopouvreq: they beheld the boldness, for not words only, their gestures also, de- 
clared it. — Below, tt|v Jtappr|alav eveepatvov ti)v Kara rou Aaou. ’E^ wv £<p0£yyovro £0aupaijov ’faux;- Edd. ti)v 
Trapp. eveepatvov eiti rou Aaou £^ u>v etpOeyyovro. ’E0aupai[ov 5e tccoq. 

262 a<p’ tov eAeyov; Edd. and Erasm. take this affirmatively: but this can hardly be the Author’s meaning; as 
he has just said that “from the things they uttered, they marvelled” that the speakers should be illiterate and 
common men. Something perhaps is wanting: e.g. “Not from the matter, but from the dialect, or from the 
brevity and abruptness of Peter’s style, or, from the appearance of the men. — In the mss. the next sentence is, 
ware eitecnapfiav av auroTq, Extrema auctoritate mandassent iis, Erasm. Acrius in eos egissent, Ben. Here and in 
what follows we have endeavored to restore the proper order. In the mss. in consequence, as it seems, of a con- 
fusion between the two clauses, ou 5uvape0a apvtjaaa0ai, and ou 5uvape0a yap. ..pi) AaAelv, the order of the 
comments is deranged: viz. “So that they would — been with them.” “And they recognized — stopped their 
mouths:” “‘Whether it be right — judge ye.’ When the terror — mere bravery. ‘Whether it be right,’ he says, and, 

129 


Homily X on Acts iv. 1. 


said? Peter does not draw out long speeches, but then by his very manner and method (rpc; 
dttaYYeAiac; veal rrjc; ouv0qKr|(;) he declares his confidence. “And they recognized them that 
they had been with Jesus.” Which circumstance made them believe that it was from Him 
they had learned these things, and that they did all in the character of His disciples. ' But 
not less than the voice of these, the miracle uttered a voice of its own: and that sign itself 
stopped their mouths. [“And beholding the man,” etc.] So that they would have been per- 
emptory (eTteoKri^av) with them, if the man had not been with them. “We cannot deny it.” 
So that they would have denied it, if the thing had not been so: if the testimony had not been 
that of the people in general. “But that it spread no further among the people.” (v. 17.) And 
yet it was palpable to all men! But such is the nature of wickedness: everywhere it is shamed. 
“Let us straitly threaten them.” What sayest thou? Threaten? And expect ye to stop the 
preaching? And 264 yet all beginnings are hard and trying. Ye slew the Master, and did not 
stop it: and now, if ye threaten, do ye expect to turn us back? The imprisonment did not 
prevail with us to speak submissively, and shall ye prevail? “And they called them, and 

o zr r 

commanded them,” etc. (v. 18, 19.) It had been much better for them to let them go. 
“And Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God 
to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.” When the terror was abated (for that 
command was tantamount to their being dismissed), then also the Apostles speak more 


‘We cannot deny it.’ So that they would — better to let them go. ‘Whether it be right — more than unto God.’ 
Here by God — His Resurrection.” 

263 The author seems to give two different interpretations of the statement: “They recognized them that they 
had been with Jesus.” (1) They perceived that these were the men whom they had before seen in company with 
Jesus. (2) They saw that their words and acts betokened association with Jesus. It is evident that the former only 
is meant in this place. — G.B.S. 

264 Kairoi Ttavraxou ai apxai Setvai Kai SuokoAoi. “If at the beginning you failed, how can you expect to 
succeed now? for the beginning being always the hardest part of any difficult undertaking, if you could not stop 
it then, much less afterwards.” The modern text unnecessarily alters it to oun u> jt. ai a. xaAeTtal T£ Kai 5uok. 

265 IloAAa) paAAov aurou; (3eAnov t)v aurouc acpelvat. N. has a colon at autotc;, which perhaps is better; 
then the first clause may be the comment on to xaSoAou pi) <p0£yy£a0at: “not to speak at all: much more to 
them. It had been better to dismiss them (at once).” For this sentence E. alone has, ndvu ye, rout; ouSev upck; 
i)youp£vou<; Kai dcTtEiAouvrai;: “Aye, men who make nothing of you for all your threatening:” which is adopted 
by Edd. 


130 


Homily X on Acts iv. 1. 


s) /r/r 

mildly: so far were they from mere bravery: “Whether it be right,” says he: and “We 
cannot [but speak]. Whether it be right in the sight of God to obey you rather than God.” 
(v. 20.) Here [by “God”] they mean Christ, for he it was that commanded them. And once 
more they confirm the fact of His Resurrection. “For we cannot but speak the things we 
have seen and heard:” so that we are witnesses who have a right to be believed. “So when 
they had further threatened them.” (v. 21.) Again they threatened in vain. “They let them 
go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified 
God for that which was done.” So then the people glorified God, but these endeavored to 
destroy them: such fighters against God were they! Whereby they made them more conspicu- 
ous and illustrious. “For My strength,” it is said, “is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. xii. 
9.) 

Already these as martyrs have borne testimony: set in the battle against all, they said, 
“We cannot but speak the things we have seen and heard.” If the things we speak be false, 
reprehend them; if true, why hinderest thou? Such is philosophy! Those, in perplexity, these 
in gladness: those covered with exceeding shame, these doing all with boldness: those in 
fear, these in confidence. For who, I would ask, were the frightened? those who said, “That 
it spread no further among people,” or these who said, “we cannot but speak the things we 
have seen and heard?” And these had a delight, a freedom of speech, a joy surpassing all; 
those a despondency, a shame, a fear; for they feared the people. But these were not afraid 
of those; on the contrary, while these spake what they would, those did not what they would. 
Which were in chains and dangers? was it not these last? 

Let us then hold fast to virtue; let not these words end only in delight, and in a certain 
elevation of the spirits. This is not the theatre, for singers (KiBapcoSwv), and tragedians, and 
musicians (KiGaptcrrojv), where the fruit consists only in the enjoyment and where the en- 
joyment itself passes with the passing day. Nay, would that it were enjoyment alone, and 
not mischief also with the enjoyment! But so it is: each man carries home with him much 
of what he has witnessed there, sticking to him like the infection of a plague: and one indeed, 
of the younger sort, having culled such snatches of song here and there of those satanic 

'yfn 

plays, as he could fix in his memory, goes singing them about the house: while another, 
a senior, and forsooth too staid for such levity, does not this indeed, but what is there spoken, 


266 E. and Edd. “That a notable miracle is done, we cannot deny:” and below “Here they say, of God, for, ‘of 
Christ.’ Do you see how that is fulfilled which He said unto them, ‘Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of 
wolves; fear them not.’ Then once more they confirm,” etc. For too 0£ou, A. B. have rou Xpiorou. 

267 The various readings are aapdrwv for Spaparwv, and pepr| for p£A.r|. Below, x wv 5e ekeioe AEyopEvtov 
Kai KripuYpdrwv Kai pripartov p£pvr|rat Ttavrwv. The mod, omits teal Kr|p. The meaning is, “He cannot carry 
away in his memory the preaching which he hears in Church: but the preachments (proclamations) which he 
hears in the theatre he remember, every word.” 


131 


Homily X on Acts iv. 1. 


both the preachments and the very words, he remembers it all; and another again, some 
filthy and absurd ditty. From this place you depart, taking nothing with you. — We have laid 
down a law — nay, not we: God forbid! for it is said, “Call no man your master upon the 
earth” (Matt, xxiii. 8); Christ has laid down a law that none should swear. Now, say, what 
has been done with regard to this law? Fori will not cease speaking of it; “lest,” as the Apostle 
saith, “if I come again, I must not spare.” (2 Cor. xiii. 2.) I ask then, have you laid the matter 
to heart? have you thought of it seriously? have you been in earnest about it, or must we 
again take up the same subject? Nay, rather, whether you have or not, we will resume it, 
that you may think seriously about it, or, if you have laid it to heart, may again do this the 
more surely, and exhort others also. With what then, I pray you, with what shall we begin? 
Shall it be with the Old Testament? For indeed this also is to our shame, that the precepts 
of the Law, which we ought to surpass, we do not even thus observe! For we ought not to 
be hearing such matters as these: these are precepts adapted to the poor Jewish level (rrjc; 
’iouSatKrjc; eursAeiac;): we ought to be hearing those counsels of perfection; “Cast away thy 
property, stand courageously, and give up thy life in behalf of the Gospel, scorn all the goods 
of earth, have nothing in common with this present life; if any wrong thee, do him good; if 
any defraud thee, bless him; if any revile thee, show him honor; be above everything.” (S. 
Ambros. de Off. i. 2.) These and such as these are what we ought to be hearing. But here are 
we discoursing about swearing; and our case is just the same as if, when a person ought to 
be a philosopher, one should take him away from the great masters, and set him to spell 
syllables letter by letter! Just think now what a disgrace it would be for a man having a 
flowing beard, and with staff in hand, and cope on shoulders, to go to school with children, 
and be set the same tasks with them: would it not be above measure ridiculous? And yet the 
ridicule which belongs to us is even greater. For not as the difference between philosophy 
and the spelling-lesson, so is that between the Jewish polity and ours: no indeed, but as the 
difference between angels and men. Say now, if one could fetch down an angel from heaven, 
and should bid him stand here and listen to our preaching, as one whose duty it is to conform 
himself thereto, would it not be shameful and preposterous? But if to be yet, like children, 
under teaching about these things be ridiculous; what must it be, not even to attend to these 
things: how great the condemnation, how great the shame! To be Christians still, and to 
have to learn that it is not right to swear! However, let us put up with that, lest we incur 
even worse ridicule. 


268 A description of the attire of a philosopher. Lucian mentions the long beard and the staff, but as the 
vestment, the rpi(3umov or triturn pallium. The ectopic; elsewhere denotes (in opposition to cnwpii;) a tunic 
without sleeves, forming part of the dress of old men, and slaves, and also used in comedy. Here it seems to 
mean a cope, perhaps (Doun. ap. Savil.), the original of the academic hood, caputium. 


132 


Homily X on Acts iv. 1. 


Well, then, let us speak to you to-day from the Old Testament. What does it tell us? 
“Accustom not thy mouth to swearing; neither use thyself to the naming of the Holy One.” 
And why? “For as a servant that is continually beaten shall not be without a blue mark, so 
he that sweareth.” (Ecclus. xxiii. 10.) See the discernment of this wise man. He did not say, 
“Accustom not to swearing” thy mind, but “thy mouth”; because being altogether an affair 
of the mouth, thus it is easily remedied. For at last it becomes a habit without intention; as 
for instance, there are many who entering the public baths, as soon as they have passed the 
threshold, cross (Horn, in 1 Cor. xi. 7) themselves (o 9 pay{^ovrat). 269 This the hand has got 
to do, without any one’s bidding, by force of habit. Again, at the lighting of a candle, often 
when the mind is intent on something else, the hand makes the sign. In the same way also 
the mouth, without concurrence of the mind, articulates the word, from mere habit, and 
the whole affair is in the tongue. “Neither use thyself,” he says, “to the naming of the Holy 
One. For as a servant that is continually beaten shall not be without a blue mark, so he that 
sweareth.” He speaks not here of false oaths, but he cuts down all oaths, and to them also 
assigns their punishment. Why then, swearing is a sin. For such in truth is the soul; full of 
all these ulcers, all these scars. But you do not see them? Yes, this is the mischief of it; and 
yet you might see if you wished; for God has given you eyes. With eyes of this kind did the 
Prophet see, when he said, “My wounds stink, and are corrupt, because of my foolishness.” 
(Ps. xxxviii. 5.) We have despised God, we have hated that good Name, we have trodden 
Christ under foot, we have lost all reverence, none names the Name of God with honor. Yet 
if you love any one, even at his name you start to your feet; but God you thus continually 
invoke, and make nothing of it. Call upon Him for the benefit of your enemy; call upon 
Him for the salvation of your own soul; then he will be present, then you will delight Him; 
whereas now you provoke Him to anger. Call upon Him as Stephen did; “Lord,” he said, 
“lay not this sin to their charge.” (ch. vii. 59.) Call upon Him as did the wife of Elkanah, 
with tears and sobs, and prayers. (1 Sam. i. 10.) I prevent you not, rather I earnestly exhort 
you to it. Call upon him as Moses called upon Him, yea, cried, interceding for those who 
had driven him into banishment. For you to make mention at random of any person of 


269 Tertull. de Corona militum. “Ad omnem progressum atque promotum, ad ornnen aditum et exitum, ad 
calceatum, ad lavacra, ad mensas, ad lumina, ad cubilia, ad sedilia, qucecunque nos conversatio exercet, frontem 
crucis signaculo terimus. ” 

270 unep twv cpuyocSeuadvrcov aurov. When the “intercession” of Moses is spoken of, it is natural to suppose 
that the reference is to Exod. xxxii. 11 ff. But Sav. and Ben. refer this to Num. xii. 13, perhaps because of e(3oa 
(LXX. efloriac). But the addition, “for those who had driven him into banishment,” does not suit the latter and 
less memorable occasion: for Miriam and Aaron did but “speak against Moses,” not attempt to banish or expel 
him. More fully expressed, the meaning may be, “For a people who began by making him a fugitive, Ex. ii. 15, 
Acts vii. 29, and now had put the finishing stroke to their ingratitude.” Comp. Ex. xvii. 4; Num. xiv. 10, 13, etc. 

133 


Homily X on Acts iv. 1. 


consideration, is taken as an insult: and do you bandy God about in your talk, in season, 
out of season? I do not want to hinder you from keeping God always in your mind: nay, 
this I even desire and pray for, only that you should do this, so as to honor Him. Great good 
would this have done us, if we had called upon God only when we ought, and for what we 
ought. And why, I would ask, were such miracles wrought in the Apostles’ times, and not 
in ours? And yet it is the same God, the same Name. But no, the case is not the same. For 
then they called upon Him only for those objects which I have mentioned; whereas we call 
upon Him not for these, but quite other purposes. — If a man refuse to believe you, and that 
is why you swear, say to him, “Believe me:” however, if you will needs make oath, swear by 
yourself. I say this, not to set up a law against Christ’s law; God forbid; for it is said. “Let 
your yea be yea, and your nay, nay (Matt. v. 37): but byway of coming down to your present 
level, that I may more easily lead you to the practice of this commandment, and divert you 
from this tyrannical habit. How many who have done well in other respects, have been un- 
done by these practices! Shall I tell you why it was permitted the ancients to take oaths? (for 
to take false oaths, was not permitted to them either.) Because they swore by idols. But are 
you not ashamed to rest in laws, by which they in their infirmity were led on to something 
better? It is true, when I take a Gentile in hand, I do not immediately lay this injunction 
upon him, but in the first place I exhort him to know Christ; but if the believer, who has 
both learnt Him and heard Him, must needs crave the same forbearance with the Gentile, 
what is the use, what the gain (of his Christianity?) — But the habit is strong, and you cannot 
detach yourself from it? Well then, since the tyranny of habit is so great, transfer it into an- 
other channel. And how is this to be done? you will ask. What I have said often, I say also 
now; let there be many monitors (Aoyiorai), let there be many examiners and censors 
(e^eraorai, SoKipaarod). Say, if you chance to put on your 271 mantle inside out, you allow 
your servant to correct your mistake, and are ashamed to learn of him, although there is 
much to be ashamed of in this; and here when you are getting hurt to your soul, are you 
ashamed to be taught better by another? You suffer your menial to put your dress in order, 
and to fasten your shoes, and will you not endure him that would put your soul in order? 
Let even your menial, your child, your wife, your friend, your kinsman, your neighbor, be 
your teachers on this point. For as when a wild beast is hunted down from all sides, it is 
impossible for it to escape; so he that has so many to watch him, so many to reprove him, 
who is liable to be struck at from all sides, cannot help being on his guard. The first day he 
will find it hard to put up with, and the second, and the third; but after that it will come 
easier, and, the fourth passed, there will not even be anything to do. Make the experiment, 
if you doubt me; take it into consideration, I beseech you. It is not a trifling matter to be 


271 av pev rov fKppov evaAAa^ Tt£pt(3aAr|. A. N. (3tpov. B. C. (3iov (the word (Mppoq, birrhus having perhaps 
become obsolete). Mod. rtjv eaSrjra. 


134 


Homily X on Acts iv. 1. 


wrong in, nor yet to come right in; on both sides it is great for evil and for good. May the 
good be effected, through the grace and loving-mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom 
with the Father and the Holy Ghost be glory, power, and honor, now and ever, world without 
end. Amen. 


135 



Homily XI on Acts iv. 23. 


Homily XI. 

Acts IV. 23 

“And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and 

elders had said unto them.” 

Not for their own glory did they tell the tale — how should such be their motive? — but 
what they displayed was the proofs therein exhibited of the grace of Christ. All that their 
adversaries had said, this they told; their own part, it is likely, they omitted: this made the 
hearers all the more courageous. What then? These again flee to the true Succor, to the Al- 
liance invincible, and again, “with one accord. And when they heard that,” it is said, “with 
one accord they lifted up their voice to God, and said:” (v. 24) and with great earnestness, 
for it is no prayer made at random. Observe with what exquisite propriety their prayers are 
framed: thus, when they besought to be shown who was meet for the Apostleship, they said, 
“Thou, Lord, which knowest the heart of all men, show:” (ch. i. 24) for it was a subject for 
Prescience there: but here, where the thing needed was that the mouths of their adversaries 
should be stopped, they speak of lordship; wherefore they begin thus: Lord, “(Asanora) the 
God that madest heaven and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who, by the Holy 
Ghost through the mouth of Thy servant, David our father, didst say, Why did the heathen 
rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers 
were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ.” (v. 24-26.) It is to sue God, 
as one may say upon His own covenants, that they thus produce this prophecy: and at the 
same time to comfort themselves with the thought, that in vain are all the imaginations of 
their foes. This then is what they say: Bring those words into accomplishment, and show 
that they “imagine vain things. — For of a truth,” they proceed, “there were gathered together 
in this city, against Thy holy Child Jesus, (IlaiSa) Whom Thou hast anointed, both Herod, 
and Pontius Pilate, together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, for to do whatsoever 
Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their 
threatenings.” (v. 27-29.) Observe their largeness of mind (cpiAoaocpiav). These are not 
words of imprecation. In saying, “their threatenings, they do not mean this or that thing 
specifically threatened, but only in general, the fact of their threatening, perhaps, as being 
formidable. In fact, the writer is concise in his narrative. And observe, they do not say, 
“Crush them, cast them down;” but what? “And grant unto Thy servants, that with all 
boldness they may speak Thy word.” Let us also learn thus to pray. And yet how full of wrath 


272 The various readings are: 6 rou itarpoc; r|pu>v Sia Itveuparoi; 'Ayiou aroparoc; A. TtaiSoc; aou, A. N. rou 
7t. npwv, om. C. 6 £K aroparoc rou tl ripwv A. Kai raxiSoi; aou, B. 6 Sia crop. A. rou TtaiSoc aou, D. F. rou, om. 

E. 


136 


Homily XI on Acts iv. 23. 


one would be, when fallen among men intent upon killing him, and making threats to that 
effect? how full of animosity? But not so these saints. “By stretching forth Thine hand to 
heal, and that signs and wonders may be done by the Name of Thy holy Child Jesus.” (v. 
30.) If in that Name the mighty deeds are wrought, great will be the boldness. 

“And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together.” 
(v. 31.) This was the proof that they were heard, and of His visitation. “And they were all 
filled with the Holy Ghost.” What means, “They were filled?” It means, They were inflamed; 
and the Gift burned up within them. “And they spake the word of God with boldness. And 
the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.” (v. 32.) Do you see 
that together with the grace of God they also contributed their part? For everywhere it ought 
to be well observed, that together with the grace of God they do their part likewise. Just as 
Peter said above, Silver and gold have I none”; and again, that they were all together.” 
(ch. iii. 6.) But in this place, having mentioned that they were heard, the sacred writer pro- 
ceeds to speak also of them, what virtue they showed. Moreover, he is just about to enter 
upon the narrative of Sapphira and Ananias, and with a view to show the detestable conduct 
of that pair, he first discourses of the noble behavior of the rest. Now say, did their love beget 
their poverty, or the poverty the love? In my opinion, the love begat the poverty, and then 
the poverty drew tight the cords of love. For observe what he says: “They were all of one 
heart and of one soul.” Behold, heart and soul are what make the “together.” “Neither 
said any of them that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all 
things common. And with great power the Apostles rendered their testimony (omsSfSouv) 
of the resurrection.” (v. 33.) The phrase betokens them to be as persons put in trust with a 
deposit: he speaks of it as a debt or obligation: that is, their testimony they with boldness 
did render, or pay off, to all. “And great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any 
among them that lacked.” (v. 34.) Their feeling was just as if they were under the paternal 
roof, all for awhile sharing alike. It is not to be said, that though indeed they maintained 
the rest, yet they did it with the feeling that the means whereof they maintained them were 
still their own. No, the admirable circumstance is this, that they first alienated their property, 
and so maintained the rest, on purpose that the maintenance might not come as of their 
own private means, but as of the common property. “For as many as were possessors of 


273 ’Eld to auto, At the same, as interpreted in a former Homily, vii. §. 2. For the next sentence, E. has ndA.iv 
£VTau0a 5r|Atov to auTO Aeyet, on tou TtArjSoui;, k. t. A. “Here again explaining the ‘to auTO,’” etc. — It is in allusion 
to the same expression that he says a little further on, T5ou KapSia teal t|)uxn m ocuto. 

274 i.e. the em to auTO is not local, but moral, the union of all believers in one heart and soul: q.d. “Do not 
object that it is impossible for all believers to be together now.” 

275 The Catena has preserved the true reading, T£to<;, for which A. C. N. have are d><;, B. F. D. axe. E. substitutes 
uiot. 


137 


Homily XI on Acts iv. 23. 


lands or houses sold them, and brought the price of the things that were sold, and laid them 
down at the Apostles’ feet; and distribution was made unto every man according as he had 
need.” (v. 35.) A great mark of honor this, that “they laid them at the Apostles’ feet. And 
Joses, who by the Apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (‘which is, being interpreted, The son 
of consolation.’)” (v. 36.) I do not think that this is the same with the companion of Matthias; 
for that person was also called Justus and [Barsabas, but this, Joses and] “Barnabas” [“son 
of consolation"]. I suppose he also received the name from his virtue, as being qualified and 
suited for this duty. “A Levite, and of the country of Cyprus by birth.” Observe on all occa- 
sions how the writer indicates the breaking up of the Law. But how was he also a “Cyprian 
by birth?” Because they then even removed to other countries, and still were called Levites. 

9 lf\ 

“Having land, sold it, and brought the price, and laid it at the Apostles’ feet. 

Let us now look over again what has been said. [“And being let go, they went to their 
own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.”] (Re- 
capitulation, v. 23.) See the unostentatious conduct of the Apostles, and their largeness of 
mind. They did not go about boasting, and say, “How we served (dtiexPh^J 1 ^ 01 ) the priests!” 
nor were they ambitious of honor: but, we read, “they came unto their own company. Observe 
how they do not cast themselves upon temptations, but when the temptations present 
themselves, with courage endure them. Had it been some other of the disciples, perhaps, 
emboldened by the countenance of the multitude, he might have insulted, might have vented 
ever so many harsh expressions. But not so these true philosophers; they do all with mildness 
and with gentleness. “And when they heard that, we read, with one accord they lifted up 
their voice to God.” (v. 24.) That shout proceeded from delight and great emotion. Such 
indeed are the prayers which do their work, prayers replete with true philosophy, prayers 
offered up for such objects, by such persons, on such occasions, in such a manner; whereas 
all others are abominable and profane. “Lord, Thou the God that madest heaven and earth, 
the sea, and all that in them is.” Observe how they say nothing idle, no old wives’ talk and 
fables, but speak of His power. Just as Christ Himself said to the Jews, “If I by the Spirit of 
God do cast out devils:” behold the Father also speaks by the Spirit. For what saith it? “Lord, 
the God Who, by the Holy Ghost, through the mouth of our father Thy servant David 

276 A. B. C. N. twv ’AttootoAwv. opa to arixpov. & 173’l5wp£v Aoittov avw0£v ra £ipr|p£va. Kai twv 
’AtcootoAwv tiJv cpiAoaocplav. The clause opa to arucpov is to be restored to its place after the second twv 
’AtcootoAwv, as in the modern text, opa twv ’A. to a. Kai ti)v cp. 

277 Against the Arians, who from such texts as Matt. xii. 28, inferred the inferiority of the Son, Chrys. says, 
“Observe, the Father Himself is here said to speak by the Holy Ghost.” This is lost in the modern text, which 
substitutes ZWTijp for IfaTrjp. The text is given in our mss. with these variations. Comp, note a. A. C. AeattOTa 
6 0£O<; (6 Cat.) tou naTpoc; f|pwv (6 N.) 5ta Ilv. 'A crropaToq A. B. Aeott. 6 0. twv ncrrpwv tjpwv 6 5ta Ilv. 'A 5ta 
crop. A. E. F. D. Aeoti. 60.6 5ta arap. A.omitting 5ia Ilv. 'A., but recognizing this clause in the comment. “Observe 
how they say nothing idle, but speak of His power only: or rather, just as Christ said to the Jews, If I by the 

138 


Homily XI on Acts iv. 23. 


didst say, Why did the nations rage?” (v. 25.) Scripture is wont thus to speak of one as of 
many. “For of a truth, Lord, against Thy Holy Child Jesus, Whom Thou didst anoint, 
both Herod and Pontius Pilate,” etc. (v. 27.) Observe how, even in prayer, they circumstan- 
tially describe the Passion, and refer all to God. — That is, Not they had power to do this: 
but Thou didst it all, Thou that didst permit, that dost call to account, and yet didst bring 
to accomplishment, Thou the All- skilful and Wise, that didst serve Thee of Thine enemies 
for Thine own pleasure, (v. 28.) “For to do whatever Thy hand,” etc. Here they discourse of 
His exceeding Skill and Wisdom and Power. So then, as enemies they came together, and 
with murderous purpose, and as opposing themselves, but they did what things Thou 
wouldest: “For to do,” as it is said, “whatsoever Thy hand and Thy purpose determined before 
to be done.” What means, “Thy hand?” Here he seems to me to denote 280 one and the same 
thing by power and purpose, meaning that for Thee it is enough but to will: for it is not by 
power that one determines. “Whatsoever Thy hand,” etc. i.e. Whatsoever Thou didst ordain: 
either this is the meaning, or, that by His hand He did effect. “And now, Lord, regard their 
threatenings.” (v. 29.) As at that time, it is said, they “imagined vain things,” so “now,” grant 
that their imaginations maybe in vain: i.e. let not their threatenings come into accomplish- 
ment. And this they said not because they would themselves deprecate any hardship, but 
for the preaching’s sake. For they do not say, “and deliver us out of dangers;” but what? 
“And grant unto Thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak Thy word.” Thou Who 
didst bring to pass the former designs, bring these also to accomplishment. Observe, how 


Spirit of God do speak, so these also say, ‘By the Holy Ghost.’ Behold, the Saviour also speaks by the Spirit. And 
hear what it is that they say, ‘Lord, the God Who by the mouth of David,”’ etc. 

278 In the mss. this clause of v. 27, with the following comment, opa nCoc;, k. r. A. is set in the midst of the 
comment on v. 29: viz. before the sentence which (in the old text) also begins with opa Ttux;. It is certainly mis- 
placed there. See note 5. — Ataipouai to Tta0o<; seems to refer to the mention of Herod and Pontius Pilate. 

279 6 eTtiTpevJai;, 6 Kai eyxaAcov Kai etc Ttepac ayaywv. The meaning seems to be, that though permitting, 
He calls to account, and though holding men responsible, yet brought it to pass. The modern text omits 6 Kai 
eyKaAxov, and adds elpyaaco at the end. 

280 to auTO Aeyetv tt]v Suvapiv Kat (3ouArjv. i.e. “hand” means “power,” and “hand” (or, power) and “purpose,” 
or, “will” here make one notion, “Thy will which is also power,” for to Thee to will is to prevail: not two notions, 
for we do not say that power determines, but only the will. — The Edd. however, adopt from E. tt[v xetpa for to 
auTO, which spoils the sense. “By the hand he means the power and the purpose.” — Below, B. C. have on Trj 
Xetpl 5t£TaTT£v (A. omits the clause), we retain from E. F. D. 5t£TtpaTT£v. — CEcum. “The hand and the counsel 
mean the same thing: for where there is power, there is no need of counsel. What Thou didst order from the 
beginning is done.” 

281 Here the mss. insert, "Ov EXpiaac;, <pr|<rfv. & 169’Opa Ttdx;, k. t. A. “Observe how, even in prayer, they cir- 
cumstantially describe the Passion, and refer all to God,” etc. And then: “Observe how they ask all,” etc. See note 
2. — Here for the latter opa or opac tiun; of the old text, E. has £i5ec; tiox;. 


139 


Homily XI on Acts iv. 23. 


they affirm God to be the Author of their confidence; and how they ask all for God’s sake, 
nothing for their own glory or ambition. They promise for their own part, that they will not 
be dismayed; but they pray that signs maybe wrought “by stretching forth Thy hand to heal, 
and that signs and wonders may be done:” (v. 30) for without these, however great the zeal 
they showed, they would be striving to no purpose. God assented to their prayer, and 
manifested this, by shaking the place. For “when they had prayed,” it is said, “the place was 
shaken.” (v. 31.) And wherefore this was done, hear from the prophet, when he says, “He 
looketh on the earth, and maketh it to tremble. (Ps. civ. 32.) For by this He made it manifest 
that He is present to their prayers. And again, another prophet saith, “The earth was shaken, 
and did tremble at the presence of the Lord.” (Ps. xviii. 7; lxviii. 8.) And God did this, both 
to make it more awful, and to lead them on to a courageous trust. “And they were all filled 
with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” They 282 gained in- 
creased boldness. As it was the beginning (of their work), and they had besought a sensible 
sign for their persuasion (npoq to nsurGfjvai auto up) — but after this we nowhere find the 
like happening — therefore great was the encouragement they received. In fact, they had no 
means of proving that He was risen, save by miraculous signs. So that it was not only their 
own assurance (aocpaAetocv) that they sought: but that they might not be put to shame, but 
that they might speak with boldness. “The place was shaken,” and that made them all the 
more unshaken. For this is sometimes a token of wrath, sometimes of favor and providence, 
but on the present occasion, of wrath. For" in those times it took place in an unusual 
manner. Thus, at the Crucifixion, the earth was shaken: and the Lord Himself says, “Then 
there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places.” (Matt. xxiv. 7.) 
But then the wrath of which it was a sign was against the adversaries: as for the disciples, it 
filled them with the Spirit. Observe, even the Apostles, after the prayer, are “filled with the 


282 Edd. Kori eic; Ttappr|aiav TtAeiova aAeicpwv, as the conclusion of the preceding sentence before the (omitted) 
text. “And anointing them (as wrestlers) unto greater boldness.” Then, “For since it was the beginning (of their 
work), they besought also a sensible sign in order that they might be believed (Kpoc; ro 7uar£u0rjvai auroix;, but 
after this, etc.). Great was the encouragement they thus received from their prayer. And with good reason they 
crave the grace of signs, for they had no other means,” etc. 

283 ’End rote ^evox; yeyovev. Kai yap ore earaupu)0ri, eaaA.eu0r| r| yip Edd. ’Em 5e rou awrr|piou mx0ou<; 
^evux; xai Ttapa cpuaiv yeyove - Kai yap tore Ttaaa eaaAeu0r| r| yrj. “But at the Passion of our Saviour it happened 
in an unusual manner and preternaturally: for then all the earth was shaken.” Instead of the next sentence, “And 
the Lord Himself,” etc. E. has, “to the intent the power of Him that was crucified should everywhere be known, 
and that the Sufferer was God, and not simply man. But further: although it was a token of wrath, yet was it of 
His wrath against the adversaries,” etc., but Edd. follow the old text here. 


140 


Homily XI on Acts iv. 23. 


984 

Holy Ghost.” “And the multitudes of them that believed,” etc. (v. 32.) Great, you perceive, 

is the virtue of this thing, seeing their was need of this (grace) even in that Company. For 
this is the foundation of all that is good, this of which he now for the second time makes 
mention, exhorting all men to the contempt of riches: “Neither said any of them that 
aught of the things he possessed was his own,” “but they had all things common.” For that 
this was in consequence not merely of the miraculous signs, but of their own purpose, is 
manifest by the case of Sapphira and Ananias. “And with great power gave the Apostles 
witness,” etc. (v. 33.) Not in word, but with power the Apostles exhibited their testimony 
of the Resurrection: just as Paul saith, “And my preaching was not with persuasive words 
of human wisdom, but with manifestation of the Spirit and of power.” And it is not merely, 
With power, but, “With great power.” (1 Cor. ii. 4.) “And great grace,” it says, “was upon 
them all; for neither was there any among them that lacked.” (v. 34.) This is why the grace 
(was upon them all,) for that “there was none that lacked:” that is, from the exceeding ardor 
of the givers, none was in want. For they did not give in part, and in part reserve: nor yet in 
giving all, give it as their own. And they lived moreover in great abundance: they removed 
all inequality from among them, and made a goodly order. “For as many as were possessors,” 
etc. And with great respect they did this: for they did not presume to give into their hands, 
nor did they ostentatiously present, but brought to the Apostles’ feet. To them they left it 
to be the dispensers, made them the owners, that thenceforth all should be defrayed as from 
common, not from private, property. This was also a help to them against vain-glory. If 
this were done now, we should live more pleasant lives, both rich and poor, nor would it be 
more pleasant to the poor than to the rich themselves. And if you please, let us now for 


284 A. B. C. omit the text: D. F. Edd. insert from v. 33, 34. “And great grace was upon them all, neither was 
there any among them that lacked:” E. “And with great power, etc. and great grace,” etc. Tou Ttpayparoc; f| 
Suvaptt;, i.e. of the having all things common, as below, p. 163. C. has Ttveuparop, which Saville adopts. 

285 The innovator, mistaking the meaning of to Seurepov (viz the reference to ch. ii. 44), has, Saying above 
(v. 32), Neither said any of them, etc., and here (v. 34), “Neither was there any among them that lacked.” So 
Edd. 

286 The strong expressions of Chrys. concerning the community of goods at Jerusalem are quite different 
from the guarded and limiting statements of most modern commentators who seem bent upon showing that it 
was only a case of remarkable liberality, e.g. Hackett in loco: “Common in the use of their property, not neces- 
sarily in their possession of it.” Our author’s statements agree better with the New Test, notices on the subject. 
The main facts are these. (1) There was a real and general community of property. The statements in Acts on 
this point are clear and strong: kou slxov anavza KOiva (ii. 44); They were selling and distributing their real and 
personal property — za KTrjpara teat rat; UTtdp^etq (ii. 45). Nor did any one say that anything of his possessions 
was his own, aAAqv auTOtq attavra rcoiva, (iv. 32); “As many as (ooot) were possessors of lands or houses,” sold 
them, brought the money and distribution was made to the needs of each (iv. 34, 35). This is more than distin- 


141 


Homily XI on Acts iv. 23. 


awhile depict it in words, and derive at least this pleasure from it, since you have no mind 
for it in your actions. For at any rate this is evident, even from the facts which took place 
then, that by selling their possessions they did not come to be in need, but made them rich 
that were in need. However, let us now depict this state of things in words, and let all sell 
their possessions, and bring them into the common stock — in words, I mean: let none be 
excited, rich or poor. How much gold think you would be collected? For my part, I conjec- 
ture — for of course it is not possible to speak exactly — that supposing all here, men and 
women, to empty out their whole property, lands, possessions, houses, — for I will not speak 
of slaves, since at that time there was no such thing, but doubtless such as were slaves they 
sat at liberty, — perhaps ten hundred thousand pounds weight of gold would be the amount 
collected: nay, twice or thrice as much. For consider; at what number of “juga” (yokes) 
is our city rated? How many (of the population) shall we say are Christians? shall we say an 
hundred thousand, and the rest Greeks and Jews? Then what thousands (of pounds) of gold 
would be collected! And what is the number of poor? I do not think more than fifty thousand. 


guished liberality or mere prevailing willingness to give. (2) This peculiar phenomenon was connected with the 
habit of living together as a group or family, on the part of the Jerusalem Christians (i. 13; ii. 42-44). It was an 
evidence that they were peculiarly one in heart and soul, that no member of this closely-knit community was 
allowed to suffer while others could supply him (iv. 32-34). (3) The arrangement was purely voluntary. There 
was no law or demand in the case. Ananias and Sapphira (v. 1-11) were not punished for contributing to the 
common treasury only a part of the price of the land but as verse 4 clearly shows, for falsely presenting it as the 
whole. Yet the fact that they wished to have it thought that they had brought all seems to show that to bring all 
was customary and expected. (4) This community of goods was both local and temporary. It seems to have been 
confined to Jerusalem. There is no allusion to it in the Epistles. It sprang out of the ardor of brotherly love in 
the early years of the Christian community at Jerusalem and in view of the special needs of many of its members. 
The special poverty of the church at Jerusalem which made contributions from other churches necessary, may 
have resulted in part, as Meyer suggests, from the working of this plan. (5) The custom can hardly be explained 
apart from the expectation of the nearness of the Parousia. In the Thessalonian church all labor for self-support 
was upon the point of ceasing for the same reason. 1 Thess. iii, 10, sq. — G.B.S. 

287 elq itoaov iouywv aptBpov auvrelvet; The word here used perplexed the scribes of later times when it 
had become obsolete, and N. has iouAwv, B. iouyywv, C. OYYWv(sic), only A. ex corr. iouywv. The innovator 
substitutes prya5wv and ouvreXet. The meaning is, At what number of juga is our city assessed to the imperial 
tributes? Justinian Novell, xvii. c. 8. prescribes that the imperial TtpaKTOpeq, exactores, shall be compelled to insert 
in their returns (dmoxod) the exact quantity “of zygocephala or juga or jugalia or whatever else be the term used 
in different localities:” to ttooov twv ^uyoK£<pdA.wv rj io uywv rj iouyaA-iwv, rj ottwq SrjrtOTe fiv aura Kara xwpav 
KaXofev. See Du Fresne Gloss, s. w. It seems that each holding of land was rated or assessed at so many juga or 
yokes of oxen; moreover the term jugum is equivalent to a measure of land, as Varro remarks that land is 
measured in some places by juga, in others by jugera. 


142 


Homily XI on Acts iv. 23. 


Then to feed that number daily, what abundance there would be! And yet if the food were 
received in common, all taking their meals together, it would require no such great outlay 
after all. But, you will ask, what should we do after the money was spent? And do you think 
it ever could be spent? Would not the grace of God be ten thousand fold greater? Would 
not the grace of God be indeed richly poured out? Nay, should we not make it a heaven 
upon earth? If, where the numbers were three thousand and five thousand, the doing of this 
thing had such splendid success, and none of them complained of poverty, how much more 
glorious would this be in so vast a multitude? And even of those that are without, who would 
not contribute? — But, to show that it is the living separately that is expensive and causes 
poverty, let there be a house in which are ten children: and the wife and the man, let the one 
work at her wool, the other bring his earnings from his outdoor occupation: now tell me, 
in which way would these spend most? by taking their meals together and occupying one 
house, or by living separately? Of course, by living separately. For if the ten children must 
live apart, they would need ten several rooms, ten tables, ten attendants, and the income 
otherwise in proportion. Is it not for this very reason, that where there is a great number of 
servants, they have all one table, that the expense may not be so great? For so it is, division 
always makes diminution, concord and agreement make increase. The dwellers in the 
monasteries live just as the faithful did then: now did ever any of these die of hunger? was 
ever any of them not provided for with plenty of everything? Now, it seems, people are more 
afraid of this than of falling into a boundless and bottomless deep. But if we had made actual 
trial of this,” then indeed we should boldly venture upon this plan (rou npayparoc;) . What 
grace too, think you, would there not be! For if at that time, when there was no believer but 
only the three thousand and the five thousand: when all, throughout the world, were enemies, 
when they could nowhere look for comfort, they yet boldly entered upon this plan with such 
success; how much more would this be the case now, when by the grace of God there are 
believers everywhere throughout the world? What Gentile would be left? For my part, I 
think there would not be one: we should so attract all, and draw them to us? But yet if we 
do but make fair progress, I trust in God that even this shall be realized. Only do as I say, 


288 i.e. People now are more afraid of this (the cenobiticals way of life), than they are of launching into the 
sea of this world’s temptations: whereas if we had made trial of this, we should boldly venture upon the practice 
so happily adopted by the first Christians, (rou Ttpayparoc; as above, p. 73, note 3.) 

289 ’Eav o5(i) Ttpo(3aivtop£v. B. unnecessarily inserts raurr|, which Ben. adopts. “Si hac via progrediamur.” 
'05w Jtpopaiveiv (or o5u> |3a5i^£iv) is a common phrase in St. Chrys. Applied to persons, it means “to be fairly 
started and getting on:” to things, “to be in train,” as in Horn. i. o5u> kou ra aAAa itpou(3aiv£v, “the rest would 
follow in course.” 


143 



Homily XI on Acts iv. 23. 


and let us successfully achieve things in their regular order; if God grant life, I trust that we 
shall soon bring you over to this way of life. 

In the first place, as regards that law about swearing: accomplish that; establish it firmly: 
and let him that has kept it make known him that has not, and call him to account withal 
and rebuke him sternly. For the (supra, Horn, viii.) appointed time (f] npoGeopfa), is at hand 
and I am holding inquisition in the matter, and him that is found guilty I will banish and 
exclude. But God forbid that any such should be found among us; rather may it appear, that 
all have strictly kept this spiritual watchword. And as in war it is by the watchword that 
friends and strangers are shown, so let it be now; for indeed now also we are engaged in a 
war; that we may know our brethren that are properly such. For what a good thing it is that 
we should have this to be our cognizance both here and in a foreign land! What a weapon 
this, against the very head of the devil! A mouth that cannot swear will soon both engage 
God in prayers, and smite the devil a deadly blow. A mouth that cannot swear will also be 
incapable of using insulting language. Cast out this fire from your tongue, as you would 
from a house: this fire, drag it out. Give your tongue a little rest: make the sore less virulent. 
Yea, I beseech you, do this, that I may go on to set you another lesson: for as long as this is 
not rightly done, I dare not pass on to any other. Let this lesson be got perfectly, and you 
shall have a consciousness of the achievement, and then I will introduce you to other laws, 
or rather not I, but Christ. Implant in your soul this good thing, and by little and little ye 
shall be a paradise of God, far better than that paradise of old. No serpent among you, no 
deadly tree, nor any such thing. Fix this habit deep. If this be done, not ye only that are 
present shall be benefitted, but all that are in all the world; and not they alone, but those 
that are to succeed hereafter. For a good habit having once entered, and being kept by all, 
will be handed on to long ages, and no circumstances shall be able to erase it. If he that 
gathered sticks on the sabbath was stoned, — the man that is doing a far more heinous work 
than that gathering, the man that is amassing a load of sins, for such is the multitude of 
oaths, what shall he undergo? what shall he not have to endure? You will receive great assist- 
ance from God, if this be well achieved by you. If I were to say, Be not abusive, immediately 
you will plead to me your indignation; should I say, Be not envious, you will urge some 
other excuse. But in this case you have nothing of the kind to say. On which account I began 
with the easy precepts, which indeed is also the uniform practice in all arts. And thus one 
comes to the higher duties, by learning first those which are easier far. How easy it is you 
will see, when by the grace of God having succeeded in this, you shall receive another precept. 

Put it in my power to speak out boldly, in the presence both of Gentiles and of Jews, 
and, above all, of God. Yea, I entreat you by the love, by the pangs wherewith I have travailed 
for your birth, “my little children.” I will not add what follows, “of whom I travail in birth 
again;” nor will I say, “until Christ be formed in you.” (Gal. iv. 19). For I am persuaded, that 
Christ has been formed in you. Other language I will use towards you; “My brethren, dearly 


144 


Homily XI on Acts iv. 23. 


beloved and longed for, my joy and my crown.” (Phil. iv. 1.) Believe me that I shall use no 
other language. If at this moment there were placed upon my head ten thousand richly- 
jewelled royal crowns, they could not give me the joy which I feel at your growth in holiness; 
or rather, I do not think the monarch himself has such a joy, as that wherewith I joy over 
you. Let him have come home, victorious over all the nations at war with him, let him have 
won many other crowns besides the crown of his right; and receive other diadems as tokens 
of his victory: I do not think he would joy over his trophies, as I joy over your soul’s progress. 
For I exult, as if I had a thousand crowns on my head; and well may I rejoice. For if by the 
grace of God you achieve this good habit, you will have gained a thousand battles far more 
difficult than his; by wrestling and fighting with malicious demons, and fiendish spirits, 
with the tongue, not with sword, but by the will. For consider how much is gained, if so be 
that you do succeed! You have eradicated, first, a heinous habit; secondly, an evil conceit, 
the source of all evil, namely, the opinion that the thing is indifferent and can do no hurt; 
thirdly, wrath; fourthly, covetousness; for all these are the offspring of swearing. Nay, hence 
you will acquire a sure footing in the way to all other virtues. For as when children learn 
their letters, they learn not them alone, but by means of them are gradually taught to read; 
so shall it be with you. That evil conceit will no longer deceive you, you will not say, This is 
indifferent; you will no longer speak by mere habit, but will manfully stand against all, so 
that having perfected in all parts that virtue which is after God, you may reap eternal bless- 
ings, through the grace and loving-kindness of His Only-Begotten Son, to Whom with the 
Father and the Holy Ghost be glory, power and honor, now and ever, world without end. 
Amen. 


145 


Homily XII on Acts iv. 36, 37. 


Homily XII. 

Acts IV. 36, 37 

And Joses, who by the Apostles was surnamed Barnabas (which is, being interpreted, The son 
of consolation), a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought 
the money, and laid it at the Apostles’ feet. ” 

The writer is now about to relate the affair of Ananias and Sapphira, and in order to 
show that the man’s sin was of the worst description, he first mentions him who performed 
the virtuous deed; that, there being so great a multitude all doing the same, so great grace, 
so great miracles, he, taught by none of these, but blinded by covetousness, brought destruc- 
tion upon his own head. “Having land, — meaning that this was all he possessed, — sold it, 
and brought the money, and laid it at the Apostles’ feet. But a certain man named Ananias, 
with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price, his wife also being 
privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the Apostles’ feet.” (ch. v. 1, 2.) The ag- 
gravating circumstance was, that the sin was concerted, and none other saw what was done. 
How came it into the mind of this hapless wretch to commit this crime? “But Peter said, 
Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part 
of the price of the land?” (v. 3.) Observe even in this, a great miracle performed, greater far 
than the former. “Whiles it remained,” says he, “was it not thine own? and after it was sold, 
was it not in thine own power?” (v. 4.) That is, “Was there any obligation and force? do we 
constrain you against your will?” “Why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou 
hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and 
gave up the ghost.” (v. 5.) This miracle is greater than that of the lame man, in respect of 
the death inflicted, and the knowing what was in the thought of the heart, even what was 
done in secret. 290 “And great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young 
men arose, and wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about the 
space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter 
answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much?” (v. 6-8.) The woman 
he would fain save, for the man had been the author of the sin: therefore he gives her time 
to clear herself, and opportunity for repentance, saying, “Tell me whether ye sold the land 
for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye 
have agreed together to tempt the Holy Ghost? Behold, the feet of them which have buried 


290 Chrys. evidently regards the death of Ananias and Sapphira as a miracle wrought by Peter (so Meyer). 
All that the narrative states is that Peter disclosed the sin of Ananias and foretold the fate of his wife (Lechler). 
The middle position seems preferable: Peter acted as the instrument of God, the agent of the divine retribution. 
His will acted in conscious harmony with the divine purpose of which it was the organ (so Gloag). — G.B.S. 

146 


Homily XII on Acts iv. 36, 37. 


thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then she fell down straightway at his 
feet, and yielded up the ghost; and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying 
her forth, buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon all the Church, and upon 
as many as heard these things.” (v. 9-11.) 

After this fear had come upon them, he wrought more miracles; both Peter and the rest; 
“And by the hands of the Apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; 
and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. And of the rest durst no man join 
himself to them,” i.e. to the Apostles; “but the people magnified them,” i.e. the Jewish people. 
If “no man durst j oin himself unto them,” the Apostles, “there were,” however, “the more 

added unto the Lord, believers, multitudes both of men and of women, insomuch that they 
brought out into the streets their impotent folk, and laid them upon couches and beds, that 
at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.” (v. 12-15.) 
For Peter was the wonderful one, and he to whom they more gave heed both because of his 
public harangue, the first and the second and the third, and because of the miracle; for he 
it was that wrought the miracle, the first, the second, the third: for the present miracle was 
twofold: first, the convicting the thoughts of the heart, and next the inflicting of death at his 
word of command. “That at the least the shadow of Peter passing by,” etc. This had not oc- 
curred in the history of Christ; but see here what He had told them actually coming to pass, 
that “they which believe on Me, the works that I do shall they do also; and greater works 
than these shall they do.” (John xiv. 12.) “There came also a multitude out of the cities round 
about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them that were vexed with unclean spirits; 
and they were healed every one.” (v. 16.) 

And now I would have you observe the way in which their whole life is interwoven. 
First there was despondency on account of Christ taken from them, and then came joy be- 
cause of the Spirit descending upon them; again, dejection because of the scoffers, and then 
joy in the result of their own apology. And here again we find both dejection and gladness. 
In that they were become conspicuous, and that God made revelations to them, there was 
gladness: in that they had cut off some of their own company, there was sadness. Once more: 


291 Ei ouSexc; eroApia KoAAaaSai auroTc r. oaioar. For ei, which is the reading of A., and seems to be the true 
reading, B. C. N. have rj. The passage is corrupt, but the sense may be restored by inserting the words of the 
sacred text as above: i.e. To them, the Apostles, none durst join himself, but believers were the more added to 
the Lord, etc. Then 6 yap nerpoc k. r. X. falls into its natural place as the comment on Ilerpou Kav f| aKia. But 
with the other reading, rj, the sense maybe completed as below, p. 78, viz. “or, no man durst,” etc., [so that they 
were allowed to remain undisturbed in Solomon’s porch.] The modern text, after “the people magnified them,” 
substitutes: EIkotwc' Kal yap 6 IT k. r. X. “With reason. For indeed Peter was henceforth terrible, inflicting 
punishment, exposing even the thoughts of the mind: to whom also they gave more heed by reason of the miracle,” 


etc. 


147 


Homily XII on Acts iv. 36, 37. 


again there is gladness upon their success, and again sadness by reason of the High Priest. 
And so it will be seen to be the case throughout. And the same will be found to hold in the 
case of the ancient saints likewise. — But let us look over again what has been said. 

“They sold them,” it is written, “and brought the prices, and laid them down at the 
Apostles’ feet.” (Recapitulation, iv. 34-37.) See, my beloved brethren, how instead of leaving 
the Apostles to sell, they themselves sold, and presented the prices to them. But“ a certain 
man named Ananias,” etc. (v. 1.) This history touches Bishops too, and very forcibly. And 
the wife of Ananias was privy to the thing done: therefore he examines her. But perhaps 
some one will say that he dealt very harshly with her. What do you mean? What harshness? 
If for gathering sticks a man is to be stoned, much rather ought he for sacrilege; for this 
money was become sacred. He that has chosen to sell his goods and distribute them, and 
then withdraws them, is guilty of sacrilege. But if he is sacrilegious, who resumes from his 
own, much more he who takes from what is not his own. And do not think that because the 
consequence is not now the same, the crime will go unpunished. Do you see that this is the 
charge brought against Ananias, that having made the money sacred, he afterwards secreted 
it? Couldest thou not, said Peter, after selling thy land, use the proceeds as thine own? Wast 
thou forbidden? Wherefore after thou hadst promised it? See how at the very beginning, 
the devil made his attack; in the very midst of such signs and wonders, how this man was 
hardened! Something of the same kind had happened upon a time in the Old Testament. 
The son of Charmi coveted the devoted thing: for observe there also what vengeance ensues 
upon the sin. Sacrilege, beloved, is a most grievous crime, insulting, and full of contempt. 
We neither obliged thee to sell, the Apostle says, nor to give thy money when thou hadst 
sold; of thine own free choice thou didst it; why hast thou then stolen from the sacred 
treasury? “Why,” he says, “hath Satan filled thine heart?” (v. 3.) Well, if Satan did the thing, 
why is the man made guilty of it? For admitting the influence of the devil, and being filled 
with it. You will say, they ought to have corrected him. But he would not have received 
correction; for he that has seen such things as he had seen, and is none the better, would 
certainly be none the better for anything else that could be done; the matter was not one to 
be simply passed over: like a gangrene, it must be cut out, that it might not infect the rest 
of the body. As it is, both the man himself is benefitted in regard that he is not left to advance 
further in wickedness, and the rest, in that they are made more earnest; otherwise the contrary 
would have ensued. In the next place, Peter proves him guilty, and shows that the deed was 
not hidden from him, and then pronounces the sentence. But wherefore, upon what purpose 
hast thou done this? Didst thou wish to keep it? Thou oughtest to have kept it all along, and 


292 The modern text inserts here: “But not so Ananias: he secretes a part of the price of the field which he 
sold: wherefore also he is punished as one who did not manage his business rightly, and who was convicted of 
stealing what was his own.” 


148 


Homily XII on Acts iv. 36, 37. 


never to have professed to give it. The sacrilege, beloved, is a grievous one. For another, it 
may be, coveted what was not his own: but it was at thy discretion to keep what was thine 
own. Why then didst thou first make it sacred, and then take it? Out of excessive contempt 
hast thou done this. The deed does not admit of pardon, it is past pleading for. — Therefore 
let it be no stumbling-block to any, if at present also there are sacrilegious persons. If there 
were such persons then, much more now, when evils are many. But let us “rebuke them 
before all, that others also may fear.” (1 Tim. v. 20.) Judas was sacrilegious, but it was no 
stumbling-block to the disciples. Do you see how many evils spring from love of money? 
“And great fear, it is said, came on all them that heard these things.” (v. 5.) That man was 
punished, and others profited thereby. Not without cause. And yet, signs had been wrought 
before: true, but there was not such a sense of fear. So true is that saying, “The Lord is known 
by executing judgments.” (Ps. ix. 16.) The same thing had occurred in the case of the Ark: 
Uzzah was punished and fear came upon the rest. (2 Sam. vi. 7.) But in that instance the 
king through fear removed from him the Ark; but here the disciples became more earnestly 
heedful. [“And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what 
was done, came in,” etc.] (v. 7.) But observe how Peter, instead of sending for her, waited 
till she entered; and how none of the others durst carry out the intelligence. Such the 
teacher’s awfulness, such the disciples’ reverence, such the obedience! “An interval of three 
hours,” — and yet the woman did not hear of it, and none of those present reported it, al- 
though there was time enough for it to be noised abroad; but they were afraid. This circum- 
stance the Evangelist relates with wonder even, when he says, “Not knowing what was done, 
came in.” “And Peter answered unto her,” etc. (v. 8.) And yet she might have perceived even 
from this that Peter knew the secret. For why, having questioned none other, does he question 
you? W as it not clear that he asked because he knew? But so great was her hardness, it would 
not let her attempt to evade the guilt; and with great confidence she replied; for she thought 
she was speaking only to a man. The aggravation of the sin was, that they committed it as 
with one soul, just as upon a settled compact between them. “How is it that ye have agreed 
together,” he said, “to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have 
buried thy husband are at the door.” (v. 9.) First he makes her learn the sin, and then shows 
that she will justly suffer the same punishment with her husband, since she has committed 
the same wickedness: “And they shall carry thee out. And she fell down straightway at his 
feet,” for she was standing near him, “and yielded up the ghost.” (v. 10.) So entirely by their 
own act had they invited upon themselves the vengeance! Who after that would not be 
struck with awe? who would not fear the Apostle? who would not marvel? who not be afraid? 
“And they were with one accord, all of them in Solomon’s porch,” (v. 12) no longer in a 
house, but having occupied the very Temple, they there passed their time! No longer they 
guarded themselves against touching the unclean; nay, without scruple they handled the 
dead. And observe how, while to their own people they are severe, against the aliens they 


149 


Homily XII on Acts iv. 36, 37. 


do not exercise their power. “But” the people,” he says, “magnified them.” (v. 13.) And as 
he had mentioned their being “in Solomon’s porch,” that you may not wonder how the 
multitude allowed this, he tells us that they did not dare even to approach them: for “no 
man,” he says, “durst join himself unto them.” “But believers were the more added unto the 
Lord, multitudes both of men and women: insomuch that they brought forth the sick into 
the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing 
by might overshadow some of them.” (v. 14, 15.) Great faith, surpassing what had been 
shown in the case of Christ. How comes this? Because Christ declared: “And greater works 
than these shall he do, because I go unto My Father.” (John xiv. 12.) And these things the 
people do, while the Apostles remain there, and are not moving about from place to place: 
also from other places they were all bringing [their sick] on beds and couches: and from all 
quarters accrued to them fresh tribute of wonder; from them that believed, from them that 
were healed, from him that was punished; from their boldness of speech towards those (their 
adversaries), from the virtuous behavior of the believers: for certainly the effect produced 
was not owing to the miracles only. For though the Apostles themselves modestly ascribe 
it all to this cause, declaring that they did these things in the name of Christ, yet at the same 
time the life and noble conduct of the men helped to produce this effect. “And believers 
were more added unto the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.” Observe, how he 
now no longer tells the number of them that believe; at such a rate was the faith making way 
even to an immense multitude, and so widely was the Resurrection proclaimed. So then 
“the people magnified them:” but they were now no longer lightly to be despised as once 
they were: for in a little moment, at a single turn of the scale, such have been the effects 
produced by the fisherman and by the publican! Earth was become a heaven, for manner 
of life, for boldness of speech, for wonders, for all besides; like Angels were they looked upon 
with wonder: all unconcerned for ridicule, for threats, for perils: compassionate 294 were 
they, and beneficent; some of them they succoured with money, and some with words, and 
some with healing of their bodies and of their souls; no kind of healing (nav dSoc; larpefac;) 
but they accomplished. 

Peter all but pleads for himself, when at the point to inflict the punishment, and at the 
same time gives a lesson to the rest. For because the act would seem exceeding stern, therefore 


293 Edd. from E., omitting this and the following sentence, insert v. 14, 15, and below, John xiv. 12, both of 
which are wanting in the old text. 

294 Edd. from E. “But not only for this reason, but because, being exceedingly humane and beneficent, they 
succored some with money, some with healing of their bodies. Why hath Satan filled thine heart? Peter,” etc. 

150 


Homily XII on Acts iv. 36, 37. 


nn r 

it is that he does so much in the case. In respect of the woman also the process of 

judgment was terrible. But see how many evils grow out of the sacrilege: covetousness, 

contempt of God, impiety; and upon these too he pleaded for himself before the assembly, 
in that he did not immediately proceed to punishment, but first exposed the sin. None 
groaned, none lamented, all were terrified. For as their faith increased, the signs also were 
multiplied, and great was the fear among their own company: for the things which are from 
without do not so militate (noAepei) against our peace, as do the acts of our own people. If 
we be firmly joined together, no warfare will be hard: but the mischief would be the being 
divided and broken up. Now they went about in the public place: with boldness they attacked 
even the market, and in the midst of enemies they prevailed, and that saying was fulfilled, 
“Be Thou Ruler in the midst among Thine enemies.” (Ps. cx. 2.) This was a greater miracle, 
that they, arrested, cast into prison, should do such acts as these! 

If those for lying suffered such things, what shall not the perjured suffer? Because she 
simply affirmed, “Yea, for so much,” ye see what she suffered. Bethink you then; they that 
swear and forswear themselves, of what should they be worthy? It 299 comes in opportunely 

295 E. Edd. “therefore both in the case of the man himself, and in that of the wife, he makes the judgment 
terrible.” 

296 Our author touches upon the difficulty which has so often been found in this narrative on account of the 
apparent disproportion of the penalty to the offence. But it is to be remembered that: (1) The narrative presents 
the sin as the most heinous — lying to God — trying to deceive the Holy Spirit whose organs the Apostles were. 
It was a deliberate conspiracy for this purpose. (2) These persons were members of the church who professed 
to possess and should have possessed the Holy Spirit. Instead they had been overcome by a Satanic principle 
which here makes its manifestation in pride and hypocrisy. The selfishness of the deed is the more grievous 
because of the great piety and sacrifice of the act which was counterfeited. Pride is the greater evil, the higher 
the virtue which it simulates. (3) Such a retributive miracle, besides being just in itself, may have been specially 
necessary in this early stage of the church’s life to warn against deception and fraud and to emphasize the prin- 
ciples of honor in the early church. “So terrible was this judgment in order to guard the first operations of the 
Holy Spirit” (Neander). — G.B.S. 

297 Edd. from E. “Now if, their sin being inexcusable, he had not inflicted such punishment on them both, 
what contempt of God would thence have arisen! And that this was the reason, is evident from the fact, that he 
did not immediately,” etc. 

298 E. Edd. “There will be none to war upon us: just as, if we be put asunder one from another, on the contrary 
all will set upon us. Hence it was that they henceforth were of good courage, and with boldness attacked,” etc. 

299 EuKatpov Kal aro ttR naXatai; Sa^at to xocA-Ettov tfjq ETtiopKiai; rrjpepov. Meaning perhaps that this had 
occurred in one of the Scripture Lessons for the day. Below, KaScmep yap Spettavov OTtouTtep av epTieap ouk av 
Ka0’ eauro dveA.Kua0ar| povov, aAAa Kai aTtOT£pvop£vr|<; rrjc; KEcpaAfR. So A. B. N. Savil. and C., which last 
however has atto for dnoT£pvop£vr|(;. Hales ap. Sav. suggests, that dTtorepv. rfjc; K£<p. ought to be rejected: it is 
better however to supply etc; TpdxfiAnv before £pTt£ar| as in the translation. The meaning is explained in Serm. 

151 


Homily XII on Acts iv. 36, 37. 


to-day even from the Old Testament to show you the heinousness of perjury. “There was,” 
it says, “a flying sickle, ten cubits in breadth.” (Zech. v. 2.) The “flying” betokens the swift 
advent of the vengeance which pursues oaths; that it is many cubits in length and breadth, 
signifies the force and magnitude of the woes; that it comes flying “from heaven,” is to show 
that the vengeance comes from the judgment-seat on high: that it is in the form of a sickle,” 
denotes the inevitableness of the doom: for just as the sickle, where it comes and has hooked 
the neck, is not drawn back with nothing but itself, but with the head reaped off, even so 
the vengeance which comes upon the swearers is severe, and will not desist until it have 
completed its work. But if we swear and escape, let us not be confident; this is but to our 
woe. For what think ye? How many, since Ananias and Sapphira, have dared the same with 
them? How is it then, say you, that they have not met with the same fate? Not because it was 
allowed in them, but because they are reserved for a greater punishment. For those who 
often sin and are not punished, have greater reason to fear and dread than if they were 
punished. For the vengeance is increased for them by their present impunity and the long- 
suffering of God. Then let us not look to this, that we are not punished; but let us consider 
whether we have not sinned: if sinning we are not punished, we have the more reason to 
tremble. Say, if you have a slave, and you only threaten him, and do not beat him; when is 
he most in fear, when most inclined to run away? Is is not when you only threaten him? 
And hence we advise each other not to be continually using threats, thereby choosing rather 
to agitate the mind by the terror, and lacerating it worse than with blows. For in the one 
instance the punishment is momentary, but in the other it is perpetual. If then no one feels 
the stroke of the sickle, do not look to this, but rather let each consider whether he commits 
such sins. Many like things are done now as were done before the Flood, yet no flood has 
been sent: because there is a hell threatened, and vengeance. Many sin as the people did in 
Sodom, yet no rain of fire has been poured down; because a river of fire is prepared. Many 
go the lengths of Pharaoh; yet they have not fared like Pharaoh, they have not been drowned 
in a Red Sea: for the sea that awaits them, is the sea of the bottomless pit, where the punish- 
ment is not accompanied with insensibility, where there is no suffocation to end all, but in 
ever lengthened torture, in burning, in strangling, they are consumed there. Many have of- 


ad. Pop. Antioch, xv. t. ii. 158. D. “A flying sword, one might manage to escape from, 5p£Ttavr|V 5e eic; tov 
TpdxqAnv epTieaouaav teat avri axotvtou y£vop£vqv, ouSeiq av Siacpuyot, but from a sickle darted round the 
neck and catching it as a halter would, there can be no escape.” Hence it appears that the innovator has quite 
mistaken the Author’s meaning. He reads, Ka0dtt£p yap 5p£ttavov £t<; TpdxnAov £pjt£aov ouk av Ka0’ kavzo 
dv£A.Kua0£iq, pevei 5e Tttoc; ert Kal dnotEpvopEvqc; Tfjq KEtpaArjq: i.e. “having cut off one head, it still remains, 
that it may cut off more: ” which is irrelevant to the matter in hand, viz. how to 5 pdtavoEiSec; denotes to acpuKTOv 
Trjq Tipwpiaq. Of the Edd. Savile alone retains the old and genuine reading. Montf. strangely remarks, “ Savilianam 
lectionem esse Morelliana quam sequimur obscuriorem.” 


152 


Homily XII on Acts iv. 36, 37. 


fended like the Israelites, but no serpents have devoured them: there awaits them the worm 
that never dieth. Many have been like Gehazi, yet they have not been struck with leprosy: 
for instead of leprosy, it remains for them to be cut asunder, and numbered among the hy- 
pocrites. Many have both sworn and forsworn; but if they have indeed escaped, let us not 
be confident: the gnashing of teeth awaits them. Yea, here too they will suffer many grievous 
woes, though, it maybe, not immediately, but after further transgressions, that the vengeance 
may be the greater; for even we often set out at first with small sins, and then through great 
offences lose all. Therefore when you see anything happening to you, call to mind that par- 
ticular sin of yours. The sons of Jacob are an example of this. Remember Joseph’s brothers; 
they had sold their brother, they had even attempted to slay him; nay, they had slain him, 
as far as inclination went; they had deceived and grieved the old man; they suffered nothing. 
After many years they are brought into extreme peril, and now they are put in remembrance 
of this their sin. Exceeding wisely is this circumstance brought in. Hear what they say: “We 
are verily guilty concerning our brother.” (Gen. xlii. 21.) In this manner then do thou also, 
when anything happens, say, We are verily guilty, because we have not obeyed Christ; because 
we have sworn; my much swearing, and my false swearing, has fallen upon my own head. 
Confess thou; since they also confessed, and were saved. For what though the punishment 
follow not immediately? Since Ahab also did not immediately after his sin in the matter of 
Naboth suffer that vengeance which he yet at last suffered. (1 Kings xxi. 19.) And what is 
the reason of this? God sets thee a time, in which to wash thyself clean; but if thou persist, 
at last He will send down the vengeance. You have seen the fate of liars. Consider what is 
the fate of false swearers, consider, and desist. It is impossible a swearer should not forswear 
himself, whether he will or not; and no perjurer can be saved. One false oath sufficeth to 
finish all, to draw down upon us the whole measure of vengeance. Let us then take heed to 
ourselves, that we may escape the punishment due to this offence, and be deemed worthy 
of the loving kindness of God, through the grace and mercies of His only-begotten Son, 
with Whom to the Father and the Holy Ghost be glory, power, and honor, now and ever, 
and world without end. Amen. 


153 


Homily XIII on Acts v. 17, 18. 


Homily XIII. 

Acts V. 17, IS 

“Then having risen up, the high-priest and they that were with him (which is the sect of the 
Sadducees) were filled with indignation, and laid their hands on the Apostles, and put 
them in the common prison.” 


high-priest and they which were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees) were filled 
with indignation, and laid their hands on the Apostles:” they now assault them more vigor- 
ously: “and put them in the common prison;” but did not forthwith bring them to trial, be- 
cause they expected them again to be softened down. “But the Angel of the Lord opened 
the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to 
the people all the words of this life.” “And when they heard that, they entered into the temple 
early in the morning, and taught.” (v. 19-21.) This was done both for the encouragement 
of the disciples, and for the benefit and instruction of the others. And observe how the 
proceeding in the present instance is just the same as in what Christ Himself did. Namely, 
in His miracles though He does not let men see them in the act of being wrought, He fur- 
nishes the means whereby they may be apprised of the things wrought: thus, in His Resur- 
rection, He did not let them see how He rose: in the water made wine, the guests do not see 
it done, for they have been drinking much, and the discernment He leaves to others. Just 
so in the present case, they do not see them in the act of being brought forth, but the proofs 
from which they might gather what had been done, they do see. And it was by night that 

ill i 

the Angel put them forth. Why was this? Because in this way they were more believed 

300 CEcumenius has in part preserved the true reading, x. L SieyepOeR, Ktvr]0ei(;, eiti toR y ivo F£ v ok; L ex t 
omitted] ocpoSpotepov auroR emriSerai. A. B. C. Cat. r. £., SiriYSpQn. Kivr)0£u; eiti toTq yev. “Kai £0. auroix; ev 
r. 5.” NOv a<po5p. auroR £7tin0EVTai. And again after itpaoix; eaeaQai , — Kai acpoSp. £Tnri0£vrat (Cat. £iuri0£rai): 
£0£vro auroix;, <p., £v r. 5. "AyyeXoc; 5e k. t. X. — E. D. F. Edd. ‘‘Nothing more reckless than wickedness, nothing 
more audacious. Having learned by experience the courage of these men, from the attempts they had made before, 
they nevertheless attempt, and again come to the attack. What means it, ‘And having risen up, the high-priest 
and they that were with him?’ He was roused, it says, being excited at what had taken place. ‘And laid their hands 
on the Apostles, and put them in the common prison.’ Now they assault them more vigorously: but did not 
forthwith, etc. And whence is it manifest that they assaulted them more vigorously? From their putting them 
in the common prison. Again they are involved in danger, and again they experience succor from God. And in 
what manner, hear from what follows.” 

301 "On outu) pfiAAov rj £K£tvw<; £Tnar£u0r[aav ourw Kai ouk av eiti to Epwrfjaai r)A0ov, ouk av erepax; 
£JuaT£uaav. If it be meant that the Apostles were more believed because the miracle itself was not seen, than 
they would have been if the Angel had brought them out in open day, this may be understood in a sense which 

154 


Having risen up,” that is, being 300 roused, being excited at the things taking place, the 


Homily XIII on Acts v. 17, 18. 


than they would have been in the other: so, people would not even have had occasion to put 
the question: they would not in some other way have believed. So it was in the old times, in 
the case of Nebuchadnezzar: he saw them praising God in the furnace, and then indeed he 
was put in amazement. (Dan. iii. 24.) Whereas then these priests ought as their first question 
to have asked, How came ye out? instead of this, as if nothing had happened, they ask, “Did 
we not straitly charge you not to speak?” (v. 28.) And observe, by report of others they are 
apprised of all the circumstances: they see the prison remaining closed with safety, and the 

OAT 

guards standing before the doors. A twofold security this; as was the case at the sepulchre, 

where was both the seal, and the men to watch. See how they fought against God! Say, was 
this of man’s doing, that happened to them? Who led them forth, when the doors were shut? 
How came they out, with the keepers standing before the door? Verily they must be mad 
or drunken to talk so. Here are men, whom neither prison, nor bonds, nor closed doors, 
had been able to keep in; and yet they expect to overpower them: such is their childish folly! 
Their officers come and confess what has taken place, as if on purpose to debar them from 


St. Chrys. expresses elsewhere, viz. with reference to the nature of faith: “in the latter case there could have been 
no room for doubt; people would have been forced to acknowledge the claims of the Apostles.” Thus Horn. vi. 
in 1 Cor. “Put the case that Christ should come this moment with all the Angels, reveal Himself as God, and all 
be subject unto Him: would not the heathen believe? But will this be counted unto the heathen for faith? No: 
this were no faith; for a compulsory power from without — the visible appearance — would have effected this. 
There is no free choice in the matter: ouk son to Jipaypa Ttpoaipsaewq.” But then the next sentence ought to 
be, ’EkeIvwc; yap ou5’ av etti to sp. f|A.0ov si 5s oux oun oq, ouk av STSpwq etc., or to that effect.— Perhaps, 
however, the meaning is rather: “It was so plain to common sense that a miracle must have been wrought, that 
had the Angel brought them out in the sight of all men (outw), they could not have been more believed than 
they had a right to be as the case was (sKsivox;). Had the miracle been performed openly (outw), people would 
have had no occasion even to ask, How is this? And they who, as it was, were not brought to ask such a question, 
would certainly not have believed under any other circumstances. So in the Old Testament, Nebuchadnezzar, 
when he sees the Holy Men praising God in the furnace, is brought to ask in amazement, Did we not cast three 
men, etc.: but these priests are so hardened, that instead of asking as they ought to have done, How came ye 
out? they only ask, as if nothing had happened, Did we not straitly charge you, etc. And observe, they have no 
excuse for their wilful apathy: for they have had a full report of the circumstances from the officers: the prison 
shut, the guards at their posts.” If this be the meaning, we must replace ouk av or ou5 av in the sentence on 
outw paAAov k. t. X. But the text is too corrupt to be restored by any simple emendation. — Edd. “Because in 
this way, etc. especially as they would not have been brought to ask the question, nor yet in another case would 
they themselves have believed;” aAAwq ts Kat on ouk av, and outs pqv ETEpwq av Kat auroi STtlaTSuaav. 

302 Here the mss. insert v. 21 - 23 , inconveniently; for it interrupts the connection. Chrys. here deviates from 
his usual method, not following the narrative point by point, but reflecting first upon the conduct of the priests. 
Of course it is to be understood, that the whole text, at least to v. 28 , had been first read out. 


155 


Homily XIII on Acts v. 17, 18. 


all show of reason. Do you mark how there is miracle upon miracle, differing in kind, some 
wrought by them, others on them, and these more illustrious than the others? “And when 
they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high- 
priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate 
of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. But when the officers 
came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told, saying, The prison truly 
found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when 
we had opened, we found no man within. Now when the high-priest and the captain of the 
temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would 

mo 

grow.” (v. 21-25.) It is well ordered that the information was not brought to them at 
once, but they are first utterly at a loss what to think, that when they have considered it well 
and seen that there is a Divine Power in the case, then they may learn the whole state of the 
case. “Then came one, and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are 
standing in the temple, and teaching the people. Then went the captain with the other officers, 
and brought them without violence: for they feared the multitude, lest they should have 
been stoned.” (v. 25, 26.) O the folly of the men! “They feared,” saith he, “the multitude.” 
Why, how had the multitude helped the Apostles? When they ought to have feared that God 
Who was continually delivering them like winged creatures out of their power, instead of 
that, “they feared the multitude!” “And the high-priest,” shameless, reckless, senseless, “asked 
them, saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, 
behold ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine and intend to bring this man’s blood 
upon us.” (v. 27, 28.) What then (say the Apostles)? Again with mildness they address them; 
and yet they might have said, “Who are ye, that ye countermand God?” But what do they 
say? Again in the way of exhortation and advice, and with much mildness, they make answer. 
“Then Peter and the other Apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than 
men.” (v. 29.) High magnanimity! He shows them too that they are fighting against God. 304 
For, he says, Whom ye killed, Him hath God raised up. “The God of our fathers raised up 
Jesus, Whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with His right hand to 
be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” (v. 30, 
31.) And again they refer the whole to the Father, that He should not seem to be alien to the 
Father. “And hath exalted,” saith He, “with his right hand.” He affirms not merely the Re- 
surrection, but the Exaltation also. “For to give repentance to Israel.” Observe here as before 
the gain (to them): observe the perfection of doctrine conveyed in the form of apology. “And 
we are witnesses of these things.” (v. 32.) Great boldness of speech! And the ground of their 


303 In the mss. this comment is placed before v. 24. 

304 Here A. B. C. N. insert v. 29 omitted above by the two first. The following sentence, omitted here by D. 
E. F. and inserted after v. 31, is there repeated by A. B. C. 


156 


Homily XIII on Acts v. 17, 18. 


credibility: “And so is also the Holy Ghost, Whom God hath given to them that obey Him.” 
Do you observe that they allege not only the Spirit’s testimony? And they said not, “Whom 
He hath given” to us, but, “to them that obey Him:” therein alike showing their own unas- 
suming temper, and intimating the greatness of the gift, and showing the hearers that it was 
possible for them also to receive the Spirit. See, how these people were instructed both by 
deeds and by words, and yet they paid no heed, that their condemnation might be just. For 
to this end did God suffer the Apostles to be brought to trial, that both their adversaries 
might be instructed, and all might learn, and that the Apostles might be invigorated to 
boldness of speech. “And they hearing that, were cut to the heart.” (v. 33.) The others 
(on a former occasion) “when they heard these things were pricked;” here they were cut (as 
with a saw) (Sisnpiovro) “and desired to slay them.” (ch. ii. 37.) 

But it is necessary now to look over again what we have read. “But the angel of the Lord 
by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak 
in the temple to the people all the words of this life. Brought them forth.” (Recapitulation, 
v. 19, 20.) He did not bring them away to benefit themselves thereby, but, “Stand,” he says, 
“and speak in the temple to the people.” But if the guards had put them out, as those thought, 
they would have fled, that is, supposing they had been induced to come out: and if those 
had put them forth, they would not have stood in the temple, but would have absconded. 
No one is so void of sense, as not at once to see this. “Did we not straitly charge you?” (v. 
28.) Well, if they undertook to obey you, ye do well to call them to account: but if even at 
the very time they told you they would not obey, what account have you to call them to, 
what defence is there for them to make? “And behold ye have filled Jerusalem with your 


305 E. Edd. “Observe the excess of their wickedness. When they ought to have been struck with alarm at what 
they heard, here they are cut (to the heart), and take counsel in their temerity ((3ouA£uovtou eircfj) to slay (them).” 
The innovator did not perceive the reference to ii. 37 in oi aAAot “raura dKouaavreq KarEvuyqaav.” 

306 E. and Edd. ‘“Having brought them forth.’ He does not himself bring them away, but lets them go: that 
in this way also their intrepidity might be known; which also they showed, in that by night they entered into 
the temple and taught.” In the following sentence perhaps the purport of what St. Chrys. said was, that “if, as 
the priests supposed, the guards had let them out, the guards themselves would have absconded, and the Apostles 
would not have stood in the temple, but would have escaped.” Ei' ye Tt£ia0£vre<; may have been said of the guards, 
“if they had been bribed or otherwise induced to let them out;” but all the mss. have £i y£ it. E^rjABov, in the 
sense, “supposing, which is not likely, that the Apostles had been induced to come forth at the request of the 
guards.” Savile gives this clause to the latter part, beginning as E. and Edd. with pfiAAov 5e £t £^e(3. for kou £t 
£^e(3. “Supposing they had been induced to come out, or rather if those had put them out:” Ben. refers it to what 
precedes; “they would have fled, if they had come out at their request: nay, if those had put them out,” etc. 


157 


Homily XIII on Acts v. 17, 18. 


or»7 

doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” Mark the inconsistency of the 

accusations, and the exceeding folly. They want to make it appear now, that the dispositions 

1AO 

of the Jews are sanguinary, as if they were doing these things not for the truth’s sake, but 

in the wish to be revenged. And for this reason too the Apostles do not answer them with 
defiance (Gpaascoc;): for they were teachers. And yet where is the man, who, with a whole 
city to back him, and endowed with so great grace, would not have spoken and uttered 
something big? But not so did these: for they were not angered; no, they pitied these men, 
and wept over them, and marked in what way they might free them from their error and 
wrath. And they no longer say to them, “Judge ye:” (ch. iv. 19) but they simply affirm, saying, 
“Whom God raised up, Him do we preach: it is by the will of God that these things are 
done.” They said not, Did not we tell you even then, that “we cannot but speak the things 
which we have seen and heard?” (ib. 20.) for they are not contentious for glory; but they 
repeat again the same story, — the Cross, the Resurrection. And they tell not, wherefore He 
was crucified — that it was for our sakes: but they hint at this indeed, but not openly as yet, 
wishing to terrify them awhile. And yet what sort of rhetoric is here? None at all, 309 but 
everywhere it is still the Passion, and the Resurrection and the Ascension, and the end 
wherefore: “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus,” etc. (v. 30,31.) And yet what improbable 
assertions are these! Very improbable, no doubt; but for all that, not rulers, not people, had 
a word to say against them: but those had their mouths stopped, and these received the 
teaching. “And we,” saith he, “are witnesses of these things.” (v. 32.) Of what things? Of His 
having promised forgiveness and repentance: for the Resurrection indeed was acknowledged, 
now. But that He giveth forgiveness, both we are witnesses, and “so is the Holy Ghost,” Who 
would not have come down, unless sins had been first remitted: so that this is an indisputable 


307 The meaning of the council’s statement: “Ye intend to bring this man’s blood upon us” ( 28 ) probably is: 
You would cause an insurrection against us and thus be avenged for the crucifixion of Jesus (Meyer): others 
take it to mean: You would carry the idea that we had murdered an innocent man in crucifying Jesus (Hackett). 
The strong language of Peter in reply ( 29 ) which seems to imply: We cannot help consequences; we must obey 
God in our preaching and healing, favors the former view. The confusion of the text of Chrys. here (see note in 
loco ) makes his view on this point uncertain. — G.B.S. 

308 <povtKC«; Amirov (3ouAovrat 5eT^at raq itpoatpeaaq rtov ’IouSalcov. As the latter part of the sentence, coq 
ou 5t’ aAqBetav raura ttoiouvtwv aAA’ apuvaaBai (louAopevtov, seems inapplicable to the Jews, and to be meant 
for the Apostles, it may be conjectured that the true reading is rtov ’AjiootoAcov: “that the Apostles were bent 
upon having blood.” But all the mss. have rtov ’louSafcov, and the sense so far is satisfactory: viz. They want to 
make it appear now indeed what bloody-minded men the Jews are: now, not when Christ was crucified. 

309 The modern text: “So artlessly did they preach the Gospel of life. But when he says, ‘He hath exalted,’ he 
states for what purpose, namely, ‘to give repentance’ he adds, ‘to Israel, and remission of sins.’ But, it will be 
said, these things seemed incredible. How say you? And why not rather credible, seeing that neither rulers,” etc. 

158 


Homily XIII on Acts v. 17, 18. 


proof. “When they heard that, they were cut” (to the heart), “and took counsel to slay them.” 
(v. 33.) Hearest thou of the forgiveness of sins, O wretched man, and that God doth not 
demand punishment, and dost thou wish to slay them? What wickedness was this! And yet, 
either they ought to have convicted them of lying, or if they could not do that, to have be- 
lieved: but if they did not choose to believe, yet they ought not to slay them. For what was 
there deserving of death? Such was their intoxication, they did not even see what had taken 
place. Observe, how everywhere the Apostles, when they have made mention of the crime, 
add the mention of forgiveness; showing, that while what had been done was worthy of 
death, that which was given was proffered to them as to benefactors! In what other way 
could any one have persuaded them? 

Then stood up the high-priest,” etc. As men in high repute, these (the Apostles) 
were about to take their place near to the Prophets. The Sadducees were they that were most 
sore on the subject of the Resurrection. But perchance some one will say: Why, what man, 

Oil 

endowed with such gifts as the Apostles were, would not have been great? But consider, 

I pray you, how, before that they were endowed with the grace, “they were continuing 
steadfastly with one accord in prayer” (ch. i. 14), and depending on the aid from above. And 
dost thou, my beloved, hope for the kingdom of heaven, yet endurest naught? And hast 
thou received the Spirit, yet sufferest not such things, nor encounterest perils? But they, 


310 Here begins a second recapitulation or rather gleaning, partly of matter not touched upon before, partly 
of further remarks on what has been said. — 'Qq euSoKipouvreq eyV-N Ttbv ttpocpqttbv epeAAov toracGai: This 
relates to v. 13-16, as the reason why they were “filled with indignation.” The innovator (E. F. D. Edd.) not 
perceiving this, alters cbc; euSompouvrei; to rj d)<; euSoKipoOvtaq, which he joins to the former sentence, “How 
else could any one have persuaded them than (by treating them) as persons in high repute?” and adds, “And 
mark their malignity: they set on them the Sadducees who were most sore on the subject of the Resurrection: 
but they got nothing by their wickedness. But perchance,” etc. 

311 St. Chrysostom frequently contends against the common excuse, “We cannot attain to the holiness of 
the first Christians, because there are no miracles now.” Thus, he urges, Horn, in Matt, xlvi., that it was not their 
miracles that made the saints, both of the Old and of the New Testament, great and admirable, but their virtues: 
without which, no miracles would have availed for themselves or others: that if they wrought miracles, it was 
after they, by their noble qualities and admirable lives had attracted the Divine grace: for miracles proceed from 
a holy life, and this is also their goal: only he that lives a holy life receives this grace; and he that receives it, receives 
it only that he may amend the life of others... Let no man therefore wait for miracles. It afflicts the evil spirit 
when he is expelled from the body, much more when he sees the soul set free from sin: for in this lies Satan’s 
great power, and to destroy this, Christ died. In expelling this from thyself, thou hast performed a miracle 
greater than all miracles. This is not my doctrine; it is the doctrine of the Apostle Paul. 1 Cor. xii. 31, the “more 
excellent way” is not miracles, but Charity, the root of all good. If we practise this we need no miracles; and if 
we practise not from miracles we shall get no good. 


159 


Homily XIII on Acts v. 17, 18. 


before they had breathing- time from their former dangers, were again led into others. And 
even this too, that there is no arrogance, no conceit, how great a good it is! To converse with 
mildness, what a gain it is! For not all that they did was the immediate work of grace, but 
there are many marks of their own zeal as well. That the gifts of grace shine forth in them, 
this was from their own diligence. See, for instance, from the very beginning, how careful 
Peter is; how sober and vigilant: how they that believed cast away their riches, had no private 
property, continued in prayer, showed that they were of one mind, passed their time in 
fastings. What grace, I ask (alone), did all this? Therefore it is that He brings the evidence 
home to them through their own officers. Just as in the case of Christ, it was their officers 

•311 

who said, “Never man spake as this Man speaketh.” (John vii. 46.) These (proofs) are 
more apt to be believed than the Resurrection. — Observe also the moderation shown by 
(the rulers) themselves, and how they give way. “The high-priest asked them, saying,” etc. 
(v. 27): here he reasons with them, forsooth, in a moderate tone; for he was frightened: indeed 
to hinder was what he desired rather than to kill, since that he cannot do: and with the view 
to rouse them all, and show them the extreme danger they are in, “And intend,” says he (to 
the Apostles), “to bring this man’s blood upon us.” Dost thou still take Him to be but man? 
He wants to make it appear that the injunction was necessary for their own safety. But mark 
what (Peter) says: “Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, 
for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” (v. 31.) Here he forbears to mention 
the Gentiles, not to give them a handle against him. “And they desired,” it says, “to slay 
them.” (v. 33.) See again these in perplexity, these in pain: but those in quiet and cheerfulness 
and delight. It is not merely, They were grieved, but “They were cut” (to the heart). Truly 
this makes good that proverb, “Evil do, evil fare:” as we may see in this case. Here were these 
men in bonds, set at the bar of judgment, and the men that sit in judgment upon them were 
in distress and helpless perplexity. For as he who strikes a blow upon the adamant, gets the 
shock of the blow himself, so it was with these men. But they saw that not only was their 
boldness of speech not stopped, but rather their preaching increased the more, and that 
they discoursed without a thought of fear, and afforded them no handles against them. 

Let us imitate these, my beloved: let us be undaunted in all our dangers. There is nothing 
dreadful to him that fears God; but all that is dreadful is for others. For when a man is de- 
livered from his passions, and regards all present things as a shadow, say, from whom shall 
he suffer anything dreadful? whom shall he have to fear? whom shall he need plead to? Let 
us flee to this Rock which cannot be shaken. If any one were to build for us a city, and throw 
up a wall around it, and remove us to a land uninhabited, where there were none to disturb 


312 raura rfR avaaraaewt; marotepa. E. omits this, and inserts (X7trjYY£tA.av uTtoarpetJjavrei; aTtep ei5ov. 
“They reported on their return just what they had seen:” so Edd. except Savile, who retains the reading of E. and 
adds to it as above (from N.) 


160 


Homily XIII on Acts v. 17, 18. 


us, and there supply us with abundance of everything, and not suffer us to have aught to 
trouble us with anybody, he would not set us in such perfect safety, as Christ hath done 
now. Be it a city made of brass, if you will, surrounded on all sides with a wall, lofty and 
impregnable, let there be no enemy near it; let it have land plentiful and rich, let there be 
added abundance of other things, let the citizens too be mild and gentle, and no evil-doer 
there, neither robber, nor thief, no informer, no court of justice, but merely agreements 
(ouvaAAdApara); and let us dwell in this city: not even thus would it be possible to live in 
security. Wherefore? Because there could not but be differences with servants, with wives, 
with children, to be a groundwork of much discomfort. But here was nothing of the kind; 
for here was nothing at all to pain them or cause any discomfort. Nay, what is more wonderful 
to say, the very things which are thought to cause discomfort, became matter of all joy and 
gladness. For tell me, what was there for them to be annoyed at? what to take amiss? Shall 
we cite a particular case for comparison with them? Well, let there be one of consular dignity, 
let him be possessed of much wealth, let him dwell in the imperial city, let him have no 
troublesome business with anybody, but only live in delight, and have nothing else but this 
to do, seated at the very summit of wealth and honor and power: and let us set against him 
a Peter, in bonds if you will, in evils without number: and we shall find that he is the man 
that lives the most delightfully. For when there is such excess of joy, as to be delighted when 
in bonds, think what must be the greatness of that joy! For like as those who are high in office, 
whatsoever evils may happen, are not sensible of them, but continue in enjoyment: so did 
these the more rejoice on account of these very evils. For it is impossible, impossible in 
words to express how great pleasure falls to their lot, who suffer for Christ’s sake: for they 
rejoice in their sufferings, rather than in their good things. Whoso loves Christ, knows what 
I say. — But what as regards safety? And who, I ask, if he were ever so rich, could have escaped 
so many perils, going about among so many different nations, for the sole purpose 313 of 
bringing about a reformation in their manner of life? For it was just as if by royal mandate 
that they carried all before them, nay, far more easily, for never mandate could have been 
so effectual, as their words were. For the royal edict compels by necessity, but these drew 
men willingly and spontaneously, yea, and with hearts above measure thankful. What royal 
edict, I ask, would ever have persuaded men to part with all their property and their lives; 
to despise home, country, kindred, yea, even self-preservation? Yet the voices of fishermen 
and tent-makers availed for this. So that they were both happy, and more powerful and 
strong than all others. “Yes,” say you, “those of course were, for they wrought miracles.” 
(supra, p. 83, note 4.) But I ask what miracles did those who believed work, the three thou- 
sand, and the five thousand; and yet these, we read, passed their time in gladness? And well 
they might: for that which is the groundwork of all discomforts, the possession of riches, 


313 £0v£ai toooutok; opuAwv UTi£p pi£raarda£W(; TtoAiraac; (rovr|<;. 


161 



Homily XIII on Acts v. 17, 18. 


was done away with. For that, that, I say, was ever the cause both of wars and fighting, and 
grief, and discomfort, and all evils: the thing which makes life full of labor and troubles, it 
is that. And indeed it would be found that many more rich than poor have reason to be sad. 
If any think this is not true, their notion is derived not from the nature of the things, but 
from their own fancy. And if the rich do enjoy some sort of pleasure, this is not to be 
wondered at: for even those who are covered all over with the itch, have a good deal of 
pleasure. For that the rich are for all the world like these, and their mind affected in the 
same sort, is plain from this circumstance. Their cares annoy them, and they choose to be 
engrossed with them for the sake of the momentary pleasure: while those who are free from 
these affections, are in health and without discomfort. Whether is more pleasant, I ask, 
whether of the two more safe? To have to take thought only for a single loaf of bread and 
suit of clothes, or for an immense family, both slaves and freemen, not having care about 
himself (only)? For as this man has his fears for himself, so have you for those who depend 
on your own person. Why , 314 I pray you, does poverty seem a thing to be shunned? Just in 
the same way as other good things are, in the judgment of many, things to be deprecated. 
“Yes,” say you, “but it is not that those good things are subjects for deprecation, but that 
they are hard of attainment.” Well, so is poverty, not a thing to be deprecated, but hard of 
attainment: so that if one could bear it, there would be no reason to deprecate it. For how 
is it that the Apostles did not deprecate it? how is it that many even choose it, and so far 
from deprecating, even run to it? For that which is really a thing to be deprecated, cannot 
be an object of choice save to madmen. But if it be the men of philosophic and elevated 
minds that betake themselves to this, as to a safe and salubrious retreat, no wonder if to the 
rest it wears a different appearance. For, in truth, the rich man seems to me to be just like 
a city, unwalled, situated in a plain, inviting assailants from all sides: but poverty, a secure 
fortress, strong as brass can make it, and the way up to it difficult. “And yet,” say you, “the 
fact is just the reverse: for these are they, who are often dragged into courts of law, these are 
they who are overborne and ill-treated.” No: not the poor, as poor, but those who being 
poor want to be rich. But I am not speaking of them, but of such as make it their study to 
live in poverty. For say, how comes it that nobody ever drags the brethren of the hills into 
courts of law? and yet if to be poor is to be a mark for oppression, those ought most of all 
to be dragged thither, since they are poorer than all others. How comes it that nobody drags 
the common mendicants into the law-courts? Because they are come to the extreme of 
poverty. How is it that none does violence to them, none lays vexatious informations against 
them? Because they abide in a stronghold too safe for that. How many think it a condition 


314 Edd. “And why,” you will ask, “is poverty thought a thing to be fled from!” Why, because other good 
things are, in the judgment of many, things to be fled from, not because they are to be deprecated, but because 
hard of attainment. 


162 



Homily XIII on Acts v. 17, 18. 


hard to struggle against, poverty, I mean, and begging! What then, I ask, is it a good thing 
to beg? “It is good, if there be comfort,” say you; “if there be one to give: it is a life so free 
from trouble and reverses, as every one knows.” But I do not mean to commend this; God 
forbid! what I advise is the not aiming at riches. 

For say, whom would you rather call blessed? those who find themselves at home with 
virtue, (sTnrqSefoiK; npoq apsrf|v) or those who stand aloof? Of course, those who are near. 
Say then, which of the two is the man to learn anything that is profitable, and to shine in 
the true wisdom? the former, or the latter? The first, all must see. If you doubt it, satisfy 
yourself in this way. Fetch hither from the market-place any of the poor wretches there; let 
him be a cripple, lame, maimed: and then produce some other person, comely of aspect, 
strong in body, full of life and vigor in every part, overflowing with riches: let him be of il- 
lustrious birth, and possessed of great power. Then let us bring both these into the school 
of philosophy: which of them, I ask, is more likely to receive the things taught? The first 
precept, at the outset, “Be lowly and moderate” (for this is Christ’s command): which will 
be most able to fulfil it, this one or the other? “Blessed are they that mourn” (Matt. v. 4): 
which will most receive this saying? “Blessed are the lowly:” which will most listen to this? 
“Blessed are the pure in heart. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness. 
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake” (ib. 8, 6, 10). Which will with 
ease receive these sayings? And, if you will, let us apply to all of them these rules, and see 
how they will fit. Is not the one inflamed and swollen all over, while the other is ever lowly 
minded and subdued in his whole bearing? It is quite plain. Yes, and there is a saying to that 

■3 1 r 

effect among those that are without: “(I was) a slave, Epictetus by name, a cripple in body, 
for poverty a very Irus, and a friend of the Immortals.” For how, I would ask, can it be oth- 
erwise, but that the soul of the rich must teem with evils; folly, vainglory, numberless lusts, 
anger and passion, covetousness, iniquity, and what not? So that even for philosophy, the 
former is more congenially (emTqSda) disposed than the latter. By all means seek to ascertain 
which is the more pleasant: for this I see is the point everywhere discussed, whether such 
an one has the more enjoyable way of life. And yet even as regards this, we need not be in 
doubt; for to be near to health, is also to have much enjoyment. But whether of the two, I 
would ask, is best disposed (envoi Sexoq) to the matter now in hand, that which we will needs 
carry into accomplishment — our law, I mean — the poor man or the rich? Whether of them 
will be apt to swear? The man who has children to be provoked with, the man who has his 
covenants with innumerable parties, or the man who is concerned to apply for just a loaf 
of bread or a garment? This man has not even need of oaths, should he wish, but always 
lives free from cares of business; nay, more, it is often seen that he who is disciplined to 


315 The Epigram is preserved in the Palatine Anthology, 7. 676. AouAoc; ’EitlKrr|ro<; yev6pr|v, Kod atopari 
Ttripoc;, Kai ttevlav ’Ipo<;, Kod cptAoq aSavaron;. But our mss. except E., for 'Ipop have tepoq “sacred.” 


163 


Homily XIII on Acts v. 17, 18. 


swear not at all, will also despise riches; and one shall see in his whole behavior his ways all 
branching off from this one good habit, and leading to meekness, to contempt of riches, to 
piety, to subduedness of soul, to compunction of heart. Then let us not be indolent, my be- 
loved, but let us again show great earnestness: they who have succeeded, that they may keep 
the success achieved, that they be not easily caught by the receding wave, nor the refluent 

11 /r 

tide carry them back again [they too who are yet behindhand, that they may be raised 
up again, and strive to make up that which is wanting. And meanwhile let those who have 
succeeded, help those who have not been able to do the same] : and by reaching out their 
hands, as they would to men struggling in the deep water, receive them into the haven of 
no-swearing (avtopocnac;). For it is indeed a haven of safety, to swear not at all: whatever 
storms burst upon us, to be in no danger of sinking there: be it anger, be it insult, be it passion, 
be it what it may, the soul is stayed securely; yea, though one have vented some chance word 
or other that ought not, and had been better not, to be spoken, yet he has laid himself under 
no necessity, no law. (Supra, Horn. ix. §5. ad. Pop. Ant. viii. §3.) See what Herod did for his 
oath’s sake: he cut off the head of the Fore-runner. “But because of his oaths,” it says, “and 
because of them which sat at meat with him” (Mark vi. 26), he cut off the head of the 
Prophet. Think what the tribes had to suffer for their oath in the matter of the tribe of 
Benjamin (Judges xxi. 5-10): what Saul had to suffer for his oath (1 Sam. xiv. 24, etc.). For 
Saul indeed perjured himself, but Herod did what was even worse than perjury, he committed 
murder. Joshua again — you know how it fared with him, for his oath in the matter of the 

017 

Gibeonites. (Joshua, ch. ix.) For it is indeed a snare of Satan, this swearing. Let us burst 
the cords; let us bring ourselves into a condition in which it will be easy (not to swear); let 
us break loose from every entanglement, and from this snare of Satan. Let us fear the com- 
mand of the Lord: let us settle ourselves in the best of habits: that, making progress, and 
having achieved this and the rest of the commandments, we may obtain those good things 


316 Something is wanting in the old text to complete the sense: the matter in the brackets is supplied from 
E. D. F. Below, the same have: “to swear not at all: a haven, that one be not drowned by the storm bursting. For 
though wrath, though (sense of) insult, though passion boil over, yea though anything, be what it may, the soul 
is in security, so that it will not even utter aught that should not be spoken: for one has laid himself,” etc. 

317 Aiapprj^wpev ra axorn'a- ev £ukoA 1& 139- Karaarfjawpev eauroucy Ttaar|<; aitoptaq aTtaAAaywpev Kai 
rrj<; aaraviKfjt; raxyiSot;. i.e. “The cords of this snare are, the ties of worldly business in the possession or pursuit 
of wealth: there is a condition, as was said above, in which it is full easy not to swear; let us bring ourselves into 
that condition: all that makes us say, ‘We cannot help swearing,’ (ndar|<; aTtoplai;), let us have done with it, and 
breakloose from the snare of the devil.” The exhortation connects both parts of the “Morale” — the commendation 
of voluntary poverty, and the invective against swearing. In the modern text (E. F. D. Edd.) this is lost sight of: 
it reads: Stapp. ra ax- Kai ev euK. Karaartjaopev (al. -atopev) 7tdar|<; cpuAaKfjc dTtaAAaywpev rrjc; aar. nay. “Let 
us burst the cords, and we shall bring ourselves into a facility of all watchfulness: let us break loose,” etc. 


164 


Homily XIII on Acts v. 17, 18. 


which are promised to them that love Him, through the grace and loving-kindness of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father and the Holy Ghost together be glory, power, 
and honor, now and ever, and world without end. Amen. 


165 



Homily XIV on Acts v. 34. 


Homily XIV. 

Acts V. 34 

“Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had 
in reputation among all the people, and commanded the men to be put forth a little space.” 

This Gamaliel was Paul’s teacher. And one may well wonder, how, being so right-minded 
in his judgment, and withal learned in the law, he did not yet believe. But it cannot be that 

010 

he should have continued in unbelief to the end. Indeed it appears plainly from the words 

he here speaks. He “commanded,” it says, “to put the men forth a little space [and said unto 
them.]” Observe how judiciously he frames his speech, and how he immediately at the very 
outset puts them in fear. And that he may not be suspected of taking their part, he addresses 
them as if he and they were of the same opinion, and does not use much vehemence, but as 
speaking to men intoxicated through passion, he thus expresses himself: “Ye men of Israel, 
take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.” (v. 35.) Do not, he 
would say, go to work rashly and in a hurry. “For before these days rose up Theudas, 
boasting himself to be somebody: to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined 
themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to 
naught.” (v. 36.) By examples he teaches them prudence; and, by way of encouragement, 
mentions last the man who seduced the greatest number. Now before he gives the examples, 
he says, “Take heed to yourselves;” but when he has cited them, then he declares his opinion, 
and says, “Refrain from these men.” For, says he, “there rose up Judas of Galilee in the days 
of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many 
as obeyed him, were dispersed. And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let 
them alone: for if this council or this work be of men, it will come to naught. But if it be of 
God, ye cannot overthrow them.” (al. it) (v. 37-39.) Then what is there, he would say, to 
hinder you to be overthrown? For, says he (take heed), “lest haply ye be found even to fight 
against God.” He would dissuade them both by the consideration that the thing is impossible, 
and because it is not for their good. And he does not say by whom these people were des- 


318 In the Clementine Recogn. i. 65, Gamaliel is spoken of as having been early a Christian in secret. Lucian 
the Presbyter a.d. 415, writes an account of the discovery in consequence of a vision in which Gamaliel himself 
appeared to him, of the reliques of St. Stephen, together with those of Nicodemus and Gamaliel. See note on St. 
Augustin Comm, on St. John, p. 1048. Photius, Cod. 171, p. 199 read in a work of Eustratius how Gamaliel was 
baptized by St. Peter and St. John. (According to the Jewish tradition, Wolf. Bibl. Hebr. ii. 882. he died President 
of the Sanhedrim, eighteen years after the fall of Jerusalem.) 

319 The modern text: “As if he had said, Forbear; and if these men came together of themselves, nothing will 
hinder them also to be overthrown.” C. reads f|pa<;, “What to hinder us?” Catena, as above. 


166 


Homily XIV on Acts v. 34. 


troyed, but that there they “were scattered,” and their confederacy fell away to nothing. For 
if, says he, it be of man, what needs any ado on your part? but if it be of God, for all your 
ado you will not be able to overcome it. The argument is unanswerable. “And they were 
persuaded by him.” (v. 40.) How were they persuaded? So as not to slay them, but merely 
to scourge. For, it says, “And when they had called the Apostles, and beaten them, they 
commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.” See after 
what great works they are scourged! And again their teaching became more extended: for 
they taught at home and in the temple, “And they departed from the presence of the council, 
rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the 
temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ, (v. 41, 42.) 
And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring 
of the Hellenists against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily 
ministration.” (ch. vi. 1.) Not absolutely in those immediate days; for it is the custom of 
Scripture to speak of things next about to happen, as taking place in immediate succession. 
But by “Hellenists” I suppose he means those who spoke Greek [“against the Hebrews”]: 
for they did not use the Greek language. Behold another trial! observe how from within 
and from without there are warrings, from the very first! “Then,” it says, “the twelve called 
the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the 
word of God, and serve tables.” (v. 2.) Well said: for the needful must give precedence to 
the more needful. But see, how straightway they both take thought for these (inferior matters), 
and yet do not neglect the preaching. “Because their widows were overlooked:” for those 
(the Hebrews) were treated as the persons of greater consequence (aiSsoipcorspoi). 
“Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy 
Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves 
continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. And the saying pleased the whole 
multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost” (v. 3-5.) so 

in i 

were the others also full of faith; not to have the same things happening as in the case of 

Judas, as in the case of Ananias and Sapphira — “and Philip, and Prochoras, and Nicanor, 
and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: whom they set before the 
Apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God 


320 oure yap eAAriviari SicAiyovro. So A. B. C. N. but Cat. ouroi, and E. D. F. add 'EflpaToi ovreq. “For these 
used the Greek language, being Hebrews.” There is no need to adopt this reading: the comment seems to belong 
to the words, against the Hebrews: viz. “they murmured against them, seeing they were overlooked, etc., for 
neither could these Hebrews converse with them in the Greek language.” 

321 apa(Cat. opa) Kal ekeIvoi nArjpeu; Tuareux; t)aav (E. D. F. add ou kou e^eAi^avro). iva pi) ra aura k. r. 
X. The meaning seems to be: “If Stephen was a man full of faith, so were the others: (they were careful to choose 
only such,): in order that,” etc. 


167 


Homily XIV on Acts v. 34. 


increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great 
company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” (v. 5-7.) 

But let us look over again what has been spoken. “Ye men of Israel take heed to 
yourselves.”(Recapitulation, v. 35.) See here, I pray you, how mildly Gamaliel reasons, and 
how he says but a few words to them, and does not recount ancient histories, although he 
might have done so, but more recent instances, which are most powerful to produce belief. 
With this view he throws out a hint himself, saying, “For before these days” (v. 36): meaning, 
not many days before. Now had he at once said, “Let these men go,” both himself would 
have fallen into suspicion, and his speech would not have been so effective: but after the 
examples, it acquired its own proper force. And he mentions not one instance, but a second 
also: “for,” saith the Scripture, “in the mouth of two witnesses” (Matt, xviii. 16): and yet he 
had it in his power to mention even three. “Refrain from these men.” (v. 38.) See how mild 
his manner is, and his speech not long, but concise, and his mention even of those (impostors) 
how free from passion: “And all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered.” And for all this 
he does not blaspheme Christ. They heard him, all these unbelievers, heard him, these Jews. 
[“For if this council or this work be of men, it will come to naught.”] Well then, since it did 
not come to nought, it is not of men. [“But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it.”] (v. 39.) 
Once more he checks them by the impossibility and the inexpediency of the thing, saying, 
“Lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” And he does not say, If Christ be God; 

but the work (itself) declares (this). He does not pronounce upon it, either that, it is “of 
men,” or that it is “of God;” but he leaves the proof to the future. “They were persuaded [by 
him] .” (v. 40.) Then why, it maybe asked, do ye scourge them? Such was the incontrovertible 


322 Omitted in the old text: supplied by E. — Below, E. omits, “for, saith the Scripture, in the mouth of two 
witnesses:” and amplifies the rest, adding, “even a third, superabundantly: both showing how well he himself 
speaks, and leading them away from their sanguinary purpose.” 

323 Edd. from E. “Saying this, he speaks nothing blasphemous against Christ, but what he most wishes, he 
effects. ‘If,’ says he, ‘it be of men, it will come to naught.’ Here he seems to me to put it to them by way of syllogism, 
and to say: Consequently, since it has not come to naught, it is not of man. ‘Lest haply ye be found even to fight 
against God.’ This he said to check them,” etc. — Below, aXXa to epyov touto SqAoT, might be rendered, “but he 
is declaring this work” (viz. “if this work be of men,” etc.): the modern text, to yap epyov touto e5r]Aou. 

324 Meyer finds in the expression of Gamaliel (38, 39): “if it be of men — eav f| avSpumwv” and “if it is of 

God — ei 5e etc 0eou ecmv” an indication that he leaned to the latter opinion. While this distinction is grammat- 
ically valid it can scarcely be justified as intentional. Gamaliel, although tolerant toward Christianity, as the 
Pharisaic party in general were at this time, was not a Christian in secret, but an orthodox Jew. His advice was 
politic even from a Jewish point of view. He saw, as the more bitter party did not, that this sort of opposition 
would only serve to rouse all the energy and perseverance of the Christian disciples and thus indirectly tend to 
the increase and spread of their doctrines among the people. — G.B.S. 


168 


Homily XIV on Acts v. 34. 


justness of his speech, they could not look it in the face; nevertheless, they sated their own 
animosity; and again they expected to terrify them in this way. By the fact also of his saying 
these things not in the presence of the Apostles, he gained a hearing more than he would 
otherwise have done; and then the suavity of his discourse and the justness of what was said, 
helped to persuade them. In fact, this man all but preached the Gospel. “ Ye were per- 
suaded,” one may say, “that ye had not strength to overthrow it. Wherefore did ye not be- 
lieve?” Such is the witness borne even by enemies. There it is four hundred, there, four 
thousand: and here the first movers were twelve. Let not the number which added itself af- 
fright you. (ch. ii. 41; iv. 4.) He might also have mentioned another instance, that of the 
Egyptian, but what he has spoken is fully sufficient. And he closes his speech with an 
alarming topic: “Lest haply,” etc. And he does not pronounce upon it, lest he should seem 
to be pleading their cause; but he reasons by way of syllogism from the issue of the matter. 
And he does not venture to pronounce that it is not of men, nor yet that it is of God; for 
had he said that it was of God, they would have gainsaid him: but had he said that it was of 
men, they would again have taken prompt measures. Therefore he bids them wait for the 
end, saying, “Refrain.” But they once more threaten knowing indeed that they avail nothing, 
but doing after their manner. Such is the nature of wickedness: it attempts even impossibil- 
ities. — “And after this man rose up Judas,” etc. These things Josephus relates in detail. (Ant. 
xx. 8; ib. v. 2; xviii. 1. B. J. ii. 8. 1.) But what a great thing it was that he ventured to affirm: 
that it was of God, when in the sequel it received its proof from the events! Great boldness 
of speech, great freedom from all respect of persons! And he does not say, “But if ye do 

not overthrow it, it is of God;” but, “If it be of God, it will not be overthrown.” “And to him 
they agreed.” (v. 40.) They reverenced the high character of the man. “And they departed 
from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame 
for the name of Christ.” (v. 41.) What miracles so wonderful as this? Nowhere is the like of 
this recorded of the old saints: for Jeremiah indeed was scourged for the word of God, and 
they threatened Elijah, and the rest: but in this case, even by this very thing, and not only 
by their miracles, these showed forth the power of God. He does not say, that they were not 


325 E. F. D. and Edd. (except Savile) add, paAAov 5e povovouxt roiaura SiKaioAoyoupEvot; rpoi; auroix; 
aTtoreiverai. “Or rather he all but with just remonstrance thus expostulates with them: “Ye were persuaded,” 
etc. Below, ’EkeT rerpaKoaioi, ekeT TETpaKtaxtAior Kai u>5e k. r. X. But the mention of the four thousand, here 
referred to the second instance (Judas of Galilee), is in fact derived from the case of the Egyptian, ch. xxi. 38, 
being the third instance which “he might have cited.” Accordingly the modern text substitutes, “There four 
hundred stood up, and after this a great multitude.” 

326 E. and Edd. omit the following sentence, substituting the first two clauses of v. 40 and after “the character 
of the man,” add, “wherefore also they desist from their purpose of killing the Apostles, and having only scourged 
they dismiss them.” 


169 


Homily XIV on Acts v. 34. 


pained, but that though pained they rejoiced. How does this appear? From their boldness 
afterwards: they were so instant still, even after their beatings, in preaching the word. “But 
in the temple,” it says, “and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” 
(v. 42.) “And in those days” — when these things were done, when there were scourgings, 
when there were threatenings, when the disciples were multiplying — also, it says, “there 
arose a murmuring.” (ch. vi. 1 .) And this comes of the multitude: for it is impossible to have 
strict order in a multitude. ‘There arose a murmuring,” etc. to, — “And a great company 

of the priests were obedient to the faith. — There arose murmuring against the Hebrews” — for 
that description of people seemed to be more honorable — “because their widows were neg- 

in o 

lected in the daily ministration.” (v. 1-7.) So then there was a daily ministration for the 
widows. And observe how he calls it a “ministration” (SictKovia), and not directly alms: ex- 
tolling by this at once the doers, and those to whom it was done. “Were neglected.” This 
did not arise from malice, but perhaps from the carelessness of the multitude. And therefore 
he brought it forward openly, for this was no small evil. Observe, how even in the beginning 
the evils came not only from without, but also from within. For you must not look to this 
only, that it was set to rights, but observe that it was a great evil that it existed. Then the 


327 Standing here by itself, this last clause of v, 7 is quite out of its place. It is best explained as marking the 
conclusion of the text v. 1-7 here again read out. In the old text it is followed by the comment, ’EkeTvo yap ro 
yevoq eSoxet npitorepov eivar as if “this description of people” meant the priests: and then, “And there arose,” 
it says, “a murmuring,” v. 1 . We have restored the comment to its proper place. — The innovator adds as comment 
on v. 7: Touro amrropevou earl kou 5eikvuvto<; oti a<p’ tbv 6 Kara Xpiarou Bavaroq eaK£uaa8q, ttoAAoi omo 
toutwv Tuareuouatv. “This is by way of hint, to show that of those very persons, by whose machinations the 
sentence of death against Christ was procured, of those same many believe. “There arose,” it says, “a murmuring,” 
etc. And so Edd. 

328 The murmuring arose from the “Hellenists” who are not mentioned by Chrys. (probably because of a 
defect of the text). These Hellenists are distinguished from the “Hebrews” and were probably Greek-speaking 
Jews resident in Jerusalem who had become Christians and who are here distinguished by their language from 
the great mass of the Jewish Christians who spoke the vernacular. — G.B.S. 

329 The neglect here referred to was doubtless, as Chrys. says, unintentional (vs. Meyer) and arose from the 
increasing difficulties of administering the affairs of so large a society as the Christian community at Jerusalem 
had now become, on the plan of a common treasury. The narrative gives the impression that the complaint was 
not unfounded. It is not unlikely that the natural jealousy between the Greek and Palestinian Jews may have 
sharpened the sense of neglect. This is the first record of dissension in the Christian Church. We may note thus 
early the conditions which tended to develop a Jewish and a Gentile party in the church; the germs of dissenting 
sects of Ebionites and Gnostics which developed into so many dangerous and harmful forms in the apostolic, 
and especially in the post-apostolic age. — G.B.S. 


170 


Homily XIV on Acts v. 34. 


» 330 

twelve, ’ etc. (v. 2.) Do you observe how outward concerns succeed to inward? They do 
not act at their own discretion, but plead for themselves to the congregation. So ought it to 
be done now. “It is not reason,” says he, “that we should leave the word of God, and serve 
tables.” First he puts to them the unreasonableness of the thing; that it is not possible for 
both things to be done with the same attention: just as when they were about to ordain 
Matthias, they first show the necessity of the thing, that one was deficient, and there must 
needs be twelve. And so here they showed the necessity; and they did it not sooner, but 
waited till the murmuring arose; nor, on the other hand, did they suffer this to spread far. 
And, lo! they leave the decision to them: those who pleased all, those who of all were honestly 

oil 

reputed, them they present: not now twelve, but “seven, full of the Spirit and of wisdom: 

well reported of’ for their conversation, (v. 3.) Now when Matthias was to be presented, it 
was said, “Therefore must one of these men which have companied with us all the time” 
(ch. i. 21): but not so here: for the case was not alike. And they do not now put it to the lot; 
they might indeed themselves have made the election, as moved by the Spirit: but neverthe- 
less, they desire the testimony of the people. The fixing the number, and the ordaining them, 
and for this kind of business, rested with them: but the choice of the men they make over 
to the people, that they might not seem to act from favor: just as God also leaves it to Moses 
to choose as elders those whom he knew. (Num. xi. 16.) “And of wisdom.” For indeed there 
needs much wisdom in such ministrations. For think not, because he hath not the word 
committed unto him, that such an one has no need of wisdom: he does need it, and much 
too. “But we,” saith he, “will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the 
word.” (v. 4.) Again they plead for themselves, beginning and ending with this. “Will give 
ourselves continually,” he saith. For so it behooved, not just to do the mere acts, or in any 
chance way, but to be continually doing them. “And the saying,” we are told, “pleased the 
whole multitude.” (v. 5, 6.) This too was worthy of their wisdom. All approved of what was 
said so sensible was it. “And they chose,” it says (again it is the people (aurof) that choose,) 
“Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, 
and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: whom they set before the 
Apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.” They separated them 
from the multitude, and it is the people (aurof) that draw them, not the Apostles that lead 
them. Observe how he avoids all that is superfluous: he does not tell in what way it was done, 
but that they were ordained (ex£tporovr|0r|aav) with prayer: for this is the meaning of 
Xeiporovfa, (i.e. “putting forth the hand,”) or ordination: the hand of the man is laid upon 


330 '0pac ret e^a) StaScxopeva ra eato; E. omits this and so Edd. The antithesis here seems to be, not, as before, 
of evils from without and from within the Church; but of the concerns of the body and of the soul. 

331 E. D. F. Morel. Ben. omit this sentence, and go on with, “Now when Matthias,” etc. Savile: “And a very 
good decision this is. And they present seven, not now twelve, full,” etc. 


171 


Homily XIV on Acts v. 34. 


(the person,) but the whole work is of God, and it is His hand which toucheth the head of 
the one ordained, if he be duly ordained. “And the word of God,” it says, “increased: and 
the number of the disciples multiplied.” (v. 7.) It is not for nothing that he says this: it shows 
how great is the virtue of alms and good order. And as he is about in the sequel to enlarge 
(au^eiv) upon the affair of Stephen, he puts first the causes which led to it. “And many,” he 

-JOT 

says, “of the priests were obedient to the faith.” For since they perceived such to be the 
mind of their ruler and teacher, they put the matter to the test of facts. — It is also a subject 
for wonder, how it was that the multitude was not divided in its choice of the men, and how 
it was that the Apostles were not rejected by them. But what sort of rank these bore, and 
what sort of office they received, this is what we need to learn. Was it that of Deacons? And 
yet this is not the case in the Churches. But is it to the Presbyters that the management 
belongs? And yet at present there was no Bishop, but the Apostles only. Whence I think it 
clearly and manifestily follows, that neither Deacons nor Presbyters is their designation: 


332 ’EitEiSq yap ei5ov rov apxovra Kai 5i5aaKaA.ov roiaura dmocpqvdpEvov, omo twv epywv AoTttov rqv 
Ttelpav eAdpflavov. Meaning, perhaps, that these priests, acting upon the counsel of Gamaliel, put the question 
to the test of facts and experience, and learned that it was of God. — In the next sentence, a covert censure seems 
to be implied: q.d. “Would it be so now? Would there not be parties and factions in the choosing of the men? 
Would not the Bishop’s overture be rejected, were he to propose a plan for ridding himself of the like distracting 
demands upon his time?” 

333 aXXa twv Ttp£a(3uT£p«v £<xrtv q oixovopia, interrogatively (so in Cone. Quinisext. Can. xvi., see below), 
but in the Edd. this is put affirmatively; Ben. Sed presbyter orum erat oeconomia. Atqui nullus adhuc erat episcopus. 
Erasm. Sed presbyterorum esthcec dispensatio, tametsi nullus adhuc esset episcopus.” But to say that the oixovopia, 
i.e. stewardship and management of Church funds (in Chrysostom’s time), was vested in the presbyters, would 
be contrary to facts. Therefore we take it interrogatively: the answer not expressed, being, “No: it belongs to the 
Bishops.” Perhaps, however, the passage may be restored thus; 'AXXa rtov Ttp£a|3ur£pwv; ’AXXa rtov ETuaKOTtwv 
(or 0u5e rtov itp£a(3.) eativ q otK. Katrot k. r. X. “Well, was it that of presbyters? Nay, this stewardship belongs 
to Bishops. (Or, No, neither does it belong to presbyters.) And yet,” etc. — The following sentence, ““O0£v oute 
Skxkovwv out£ Ttp£a|3uT£pwv oipai (Cat. om.) to ovopa eivat 5rjAov Kai cpavEpov, as the text stands, might 
seem to mean, “Whence I think that neither of deacons nor of presbyters is the name clearly and manifestly 
expressed:” i.e. “there is no express and clear mention in this narrative either of deacons or of presbyters: and I 
account for this circumstance by the fact, that there were no Bishops.” Ben. Unde puto nec diaconorum nec 
presbyterorum tunefuisse nomen admissum nec manifestum. But transposing oipai and Eivat, or indeed even 
as the words stand, we get the sense expressed in the translation, which is more suitable. So Erasmus: Unde 
neque diaconorum neque presbyterorum nomen esse opinor quod clarum ac manifestum. St. Chrys. says, “Their 
appellation and office is neither deacons nor presbyters: they were ordained upon a special emergency.” — It 
seems to have been commonly held in earlier times, that Acts vi. 1-6 is the history of the first institution of the 
Diaconate. Thus the Council of Nicocaesarea ordains (a.d. 314) that in each city, however large, the number of 


172 


Homily XIV on Acts v. 34. 


004 

but it was for this particular purpose that they were ordained. And this business was not 
simply handed over to them without further ceremony, but the Apostles prayed over them, 
that power might be given to them. But observe, I pray you, if there were need of seven men 
for this, great in proportion must have been the sums of money that flowed in, great in 
proportion also the number of widows. So then the prayers were not made in an off-hand 

r 

way, but with much deliberate attention: and this office, as well as preaching, was thus 

deacons according to the Canon ought to be seven, and for proof appeals to this history, Tt£ia0fjar| 5e onto xrjc; 
(31(3A.ou rtov Ttpa^ewv. In the third century, Cornelius Ep. ad Fab. ap. Eus. H. E. vi. 43 states, that the clergy of 
Rome consisted of one Bishop, forty-six presbyters, seven deacons, etc. (Accordingly St. Jerome, Ep. 146 al. 101 
ad Evang. remarks: Diaconos paucitas honorabiles facit. Comp. Sozomen. vii. 19.) But the rule which assigned 
to each Bishop seven deacons, neither more nor less, was not always followed in large cities, as appears even 
from the Canon above cited: how greatly that number was exceeded in later times, may be seen in the Novellce 
of Justinian, when it is enacted (iii. c. 1.) that the number of deacons in the metropolitan Church at Constantinople 
should be a hundred. The Council or Councils commonly called the fifth and sixth General (Cone. Quinisextum, 
or Trullanum,) held under the same Emperor, a.d. 692, sanctioned this departure from the earlier rule, in the 
following Canon (xvi). “Whereas the Book of Acts relates that seven deacons were appointed by the Apostles, 
and the Council of Neocaesarea in its Canons determines that “The number of deacons in each city,” etc. (as 
above): we, having applied the sense of the Fathers to the Apostolic text, find that the said history relates not to 
the deacons who minister in the mysteries, but to the service of tables, etc.: the history in the Acts being as follows, 
“And in those days,” etc. (Acts vi. 1-6.) The doctor of the Church, John Chrysostom, expounding the same, 

thus speaks: “It is a subject for wonder neither deacons nor presbyters is their designation,” (as above.) 

Hereupon therefore do we also publish, that the aforesaid seven deacons be not taken to mean those which 
minister in the mysteries, as in the doctrine above rehearsed: but that these are they which were charged with 
the service of the common need of the people then gathered together; albeit herein these be unto us a pattern 
of humane and diligent attendance on them that be in necessity. 

334 There is no sufficient ground to doubt that this narrative describes the formation of the diaconate which 
we find existing later in the apostolic age (Phil. i. 1; 1 Tim. iii. 8-12). Although the word Skxkovoc; does not here 
occur, we have the corresponding verb SkxkoveTv and abstract noun Siaxovla (1, 2). The chief grounds of this 
opinion are: (1) the substantial identity of the duties here described and those of the later diaconate; (2) the almost 
universal testimony of patristic tradition to their identity: (3) the continuance for centuries of the number seven 
in the diaconate of churches (like that at Rome) where more than seven would naturally be required, out of de- 
ference to the apostolic mode. See Lightfoot, Com. on Philippians, pp. 187-9. — G.B.S. 

335 real touto, toaitep ro tcqpuypa, outuk; f|vuero’ — rouro, the “serving of tables” itself: ourox;, by this arrange- 
ment. Ta yap TtAelto raurau; rjvuov the more time the Apostles had for prayer, the better for the Church: so 
much depended on their prayers. Therefore the plan was every way beneficial: ourto ra TtveupariKa eTteAiyovro, 
(Erasm. adnumerabantur , Ben. preeferebantur , but the meaning is, “they chose to themselves,”) ourw Kat 
dmo5qpla<; iozeXXovzo, ourax; evexetplaBqaav ouroi rov Xoyov : “by this arrangement, the Apostles were free 
to give their undivided attention to spiritual matters; to leave Jerusalem, if need were, on journeys to distant 

173 


Homily XIV on Acts v. 34. 


brought to good effect; for what they did, they effected mostly by the means of these (their 
prayers.) Thus they were enabled to give their attention to things spiritual; thus were these 
also free to undertake long journeys; thus were these put in trust with the word. But the 
writer does not say this, nor extol them, but that it was “not reason” that they should leave 
the work given to them. Thus they had been taught by Moses’s example not to undertake 
the management of everything by themselves. (Num. xi. 14.) “Only,” it is said, “that we 
should remember the poor.” (Gal. ii. 10.) And how did they bring these forward? They 
fasted. “Look you out seven men,” etc. (v. 3.) It is not simply, spiritual men, but, “full of the 
Spirit and of wisdom,” for it needed very great superiority of mind (cpiAoaocpiac;) to bear 
the complainings of widows. For what profits it, that the dispenser of alms steal not, if nev- 
ertheless he waste all, or be harsh and easily provoked? “And they chose Stephen, a man full 
of faith and of the Holy Ghost.” (v. 5.) And in this regard Philip also was admirable: for it 
is of him that the writer says: “And we entered into the house of Philip the Evangelist, which 
was one of the seven; and abode with him.” — (ch. xxi. 8.) Dost thou mark how matters are 
ordered quite otherwise than after the matter of men? “And the number of disciples was 
multiplied in Jerusalem.” (v. 7.) In Jerusalem the multitude increased. Wonderful, where 
Christ was slain, there the preaching increased! And not only was it not the case that some 
were offended then in the manner of Ananias, but the awe became even greater: while these 
are scourged, those threatening, those tempting the Spirit, those murmuring. But I would 
have thee remark under what circumstances the multitude increased: after these trials, then 
it was that the multitude increased, and not before. Mark also how great the mercy of God. 
Of those chief-priests, of the very men who had indignation and sore displeasure and so 


places: by this arrangement, in short, the Word was their proper charge — not secular matters, such as Bishops 
are now burdened with, in addition to their proper duties,” Comp, note 1, p. 90. He adds: The writer, indeed, 
does not say all this, nor extol the devotion with which the Apostles gave themselves up to their work, and how 
beneficial the arrangement proved: but it is said, “It is not reason,” etc. Moses had set the example in this regard: 
and in token of their concern for the poor, observe the charge which they afterwards gave to Paul and Barnabas, 
to “remember the poor.” 

336 Ilu><; 5e Ttpofjyov toutoin;; ’Evrjareuov. Edd. from E., “But how they also brought these forward, learn 
thou. They fasted, they continued in prayer. This ought also to be done now.” — As there is no mention of fasting 
in Acts vi. 1-6 perhaps this refers to the history xiii. 2, 3 of the mission of Paul and Barnabas, to which he has 
just alluded. — Below, kou raurr| 5s 0aupaaro<; f|V a The clause to which this refers is misplaced in the old 
text, viz. before the sentence, “In Jerusalem,” etc. where E. and Edd. restore the proper clause of v. 7 Kai 
£TiA.ri0uv£TO, K. t. X. The connection is: “The Apostles desired seven men full of the Holy Ghost and of wisdom:” 
and such was Stephen, “a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost:” such doubtless were the others likewise; 
(supra, p. 88) certainly Philip was eminent in this regard, for [besides the history of his preaching at Samaria, 
ch. viii. ] he is afterwards conspicuous in the history as Philip the Evangelist. 


174 


Homily XIV on Acts v. 34. 


cried out and said, “He saved others, Himself He cannot save;” of these same, “Many,” it 
says, “were obedient unto the faith.” (Matt, xxvii. 42.) 

Him therefore let us also imitate. He received them, and did not cast them out. So let 
us requite those our enemies, who have wrought us even numberless ills. Whatever good 
thing we may have, let us impart to them: let us not pass them by, in our acts of beneficence. 
For if we ought, by suffering ill, to sate their rage, much more, by doing them good: for this 
is a less thing than the other. For it is not all alike, to do good to an enemy, and to be willing 
to suffer greater wrongs than he wishes (to inflict): from the one we shall come on to the 

other. This is the dignity of Christ’s disciples. Those crucified Him, when He had come for 
the very purpose of doing them good; His disciples they scourged; and after all this, He admits 
them to the same honor with His disciples, making them equally partakers of His gifts. I 
beseech you, let us be imitators of Christ: in this regard it is possible to imitate Him: this 
makes a man like unto God: this is more than human. Let us hold fast to Mercy: she is the 
schoolmistress and teacher of that higher Wisdom. He that has learnt to show mercy to the 
distressed, will learn also not to resent injuries; he that has learnt this, will be able to do 
good even to his enemies. Let us learn to feel for the ills our neighbors suffer, and we shall 
learn to endure the ills they inflict. Let us ask the person himself who ill-treats us, whether 
he does not condemn himself? would he not be glad to show a nobler spirit (cpiAooocpeiv)? 
must he not own that his behavior is nothing but passion, that it is little-minded, pitiful? 
would he not like to be of those who are wronged and are silent, and not of those who do 
wrong, and are beside themselves with passion? can he go away not admiring the patient 
sufferer? Do not imagine that this makes men despicable. Nothing makes men so despicable, 
as insolent and injurious behavior: nothing makes men so respectable, as endurance under 
insolence and injury. For the one is a ruffian, the other a philosopher; the one is less than 
man, the other is equal to angels. For though he be inferior to the wrong-doer, yet, for all 
that, he has the power, if he had the mind, to be revenged. And besides, the one is pitied by 
all, the other hated. What then? The former will be much the better of the two: for everybody 

o oq 

will treat the one as a madman, the other as a man of sense. He cannot speak of him in 



337 Kai peiijova 0eAfjaat naSeiv rj |3ouAea0ai: so all our mss. Erasm. “Et majora voluisse pati, vel velle.” Ben. 
Et majora velle pati. ” But the meaning is, “To be ready to suffer greater wrongs than an enemy chooses to inflict:” 
alluding to Matt. v. 39-41. Comp. Horn, xviii. in Matt. p. 238. D. to Kai Ttapaaxcvv saurov sip to Tta0£iv 
KaKtoc-.-TO Kai rtAiov rtapaaxelv rj SKelvor; (3ouAerai 6 rtoirjaac;. If for (3ouA.£a0at we read (JouAFtai, the sense 
is clearer: fj (3ouA.£a0ai, “than that he should wish it,” is somewhat abrupt. 

338 Ou Suvarat einelv aurov KaKuxy Kai 5e5oiKap pfjnto<; ouk f|v, <pr]aiv, toioutoc;. Here and in the following 
sentences we seem to have a string of apothegms from heathen moralists: xa £^u>0£V £ipr|peva, as he says below. 
But in this sentence the text appears to be corrupt, and the mss. lend no real assistance for the reading adopted 
by Edd. from E. F. D. is only meant for restoration: viz. “Therefore, when any would compel thee to speak evil 
of some person (KaKriyopfjaai Ttva, Sav. marg. dmexOdx; rtpop Ttva e'xew) say to him, ‘I cannot speak evil of him: 

175 


Homily XIV on Acts v. 34. 


evil sort: yea, thou fearest, says one, lest perchance he be not such (as thou wouldest repres- 
ent). Best that thou speak not evil in thy thought even; next, that thou speak it not to another. 
Pray not then to God against this man: if thou hear him evil- spoken of, take his part: say, 
It was passion that spoke such words, not the man; say, It was anger, not my friend: his 
madness, not his heart. Thus let us account of each offence. Wait not for the fire to be 
kindled, but check it before it comes to that: do not exasperate the savage beast, rather do 
not suffer it to become exasperated: for thou wilt no longer be able to check it, if once the 
flame be kindled. For what has the man called thee? “Thou fool and simpleton.” And which 
then is liable to the name? the called, or the caller? For the one, be he ever so wise, gets the 
character of being a fool: but the other, even if he be a simpleton, gets credit for being wise, 
and of philosophic temper. Say, which is the simpleton? he who alleges against another what 
is untrue, or he who even under such treatment is unmoved? For if it be the mark of true 
philosophy to be unmoved however moved; to fall into a passion when none moves to an- 
ger — what folly is it! I say not yet, how sore a manner of punishment is in store for those 
who utter such reproaches and revilings against their neighbor. But how? has he called thee 
“a low fellow and low-born, a sorry creature and of sorry extraction?” Again he has turned 
the taunt against himself. For the other will appear worthy and respectable, but he a sorry 
creature indeed: for to cast up such things, that is to say, meanness of birth, as a disgrace, 
is little-minded indeed: while the other will be thought a great and admirable character, 
because he thinks nothing of such a taunt, and is no more affected by it than if he were 

o-jq 

told that he had about him any other ordinary and quite indifferent circumstance. But 
does he call thee “adulterer,” and such like? At this thou mayest even laugh: for, when the 
conscience is not smitten, there can be no occasion for wrath. * * For when one has considered 
what bad and disgraceful disclosures he makes, still for all that, there is no need to grieve. 
He has but laid bare now, what everybody must be apprised of by and bye: meanwhile, as 
regards himself he has shown all men that he is not to be trusted, for that he knows not how 
to screen his neighbor’s faults: he has disgraced himself more than he has the other; has 
stopped up against himself every harbor: has made terrible to himself the bar at which he 


for I fear lest perchance he were not (f|v, Sav. ei'r|) such.’” — A. as usual in cases of difficulty, omits the passage 
as unintelligible. Whether cpr|atv denotes a citation or an interlocution, and whether r|v is the first or the third 
person, must be left doubtful; but the words might be rendered, “Lest perchance I, says he, (i.e. the person at- 
tacked), be not such.” Below, pf| evruxfK K <rrd rourou rw 0eu> is strangely rendered by Erasm. Ne in hoc cum 
Deo pugnes: “Lest herein thou fight against God.” 

339 cm exot ri rwv aAAcov rtov aStacpoptov. E. D. F. Edd. Siacpepov “something about him, better than other 
men.” Below, for evvor)aavTa yap “for when one has considered,” Edd. have evvorjaavTac; 5e Kat, “but when 
you consider also:” i.e. “but if the case be not so,” etc. In fact something is wanting: for the case here supposed 
is that the charge is true: the person has been guilty of some immorality, which the other publicly exposes. 


176 



Homily XIV on Acts v. 34. 


must hereafter be tried. For not the person (whose secrets are betrayed) will be the object 
of everybody’s aversion, but he, who where he ought not to have raised the veil, has stripped 
off the clothes. But speak thou nothing of the secrets thou knowest: hold thou thy peace if 
thou wouldest bear off the good fame. For not only wilt thou overthrow what has been 
spoken, and hide it: but thou wilt also bring about another capital result: thou wilt stop 
sentence being given against thyself. Does somebody speak evil of thee? Say thou: “Had he 
known all, he would not have spoken only thus much.” — So you admire what has been said, 
and are delighted with it? Aye, but you must follow it. For when we tell you all 340 these 
maxims of the heathen moralists, it is not because Scripture does not contain hundreds of 
such sayings, but because these are of more force to put you to the blush. As in fact Scripture 
itself is wont to use this appeal to our sense of shame; for, instance, when it says, “Do ye 
even as the heathen.” (Jer. xxxv. 3.) And the prophet Jeremiah brought forward into public 
view the children of Rechab, how they would not consent to violate the command of their 
father. — Miriam and her company spake evil of Moses, and he immediately begged them 
off from their punishment; nay, would not so much as let it be known that his cause was 
avenged. (Num. ch. xii.) But not so we: on the contrary, this is what we most desire; to have 
all men know that they have not passed unpunished. How long shall we breathe of the 
earth? — One party cannot make a fight. Pluck the madmen from both sides, you will exas- 
perate them the more: but pluck from right or from left, and you have quenched the passion. 
The striker, if he has to do with one who will not put up with blows, is the more set on: but 
if with one who yields, he is the sooner unnerved, and his blow is spent upon himself. For 
no practised pugilist so unnerves the strength of his antagonist, as does a man who being 
injuriously treated makes no return. For the other only goes off ashamed, and condemned, 
first by his own conscience, and secondly by all the lookers on. And there is a proverb too, 
which says, that “to honor another, is to honor one’s self’: therefore also to abuse another 
is to abuse one’s self. None, I repeat, will be able to harm us, unless we harm ourselves; nor 
will any make me poor, unless I make myself such. For come, let us look at it in this way. 
Suppose that I have a beggarly soul, and let all lavish all their substance upon me, what of 
that? So long as the soul is not changed, it is all in vain. Suppose I have a noble soul, and let 
all men take from me my substance: what of that? So long as you do not make the soul 
beggarly, no harm is done. Suppose my life be impure, and let all men say just the contrary 
of me: what of that? For though they say it, yet they do not judge thus of me in their heart. 
Again, suppose my life be pure, and let all say of me just the reverse: and what of that? For 
in their own conscience they will condemn themselves: since they are not persuaded of what 


340 rd Acyopeva auvayopEv, B. C. N. omiting eTtoBev, which Sav. supplies. A. E. D. F. Ben. ra e^coOev eipripeva 
Aiyopev. — Below, for kocBwc; ra £0vr| (cpr|aiv) Tiolr|aar£, which is not found in Scripture, E. Edd. have, Ouxi kou 
ol £0vtKot ro auto Ttoiouaiv; Matt. v. 47. 


177 


Homily XIV on Acts v. 34. 


they say. Just as we ought not to admit the praise, so neither the criminations. And why say 
I these things? None will ever be able to plot against us, nor lay us under any evil charge, if 
we choose (that they shall not). For how now, I ask you? Let him drag me into a court of 
justice, let him lay vexatious informations, let him, if you will, have the very soul out of me: 
and what of that? for a little while, undeservedly to suffer these things, what does it signify? 
“Well, 341 but this,” say you, “is of itself an evil.” Well, but of itself this is a good, to suffer 
undeservedly. What? would you have the suffering to be deserved? Let me mention again 
a piece of philosophy, from one of the sages. A certain person, says the story, had been put 
to death. And one of the sage’s disciples said to him, “Woe is me, that he should have suffered 
unjustly!” The other turned upon him, “Why, how now?” said he, “would you have had him 
justly suffer?” (Socrates ap. Diog. Laert. and Xen. Mem. Socr.) John also, was not he unjustly 
put to death? Which then do you rather pity: them that justly suffer death, or [him? “ Do 
you not count them miserable, while] him you even admire? Then what is a man injured, 
when from death itself he has got great gain, not merely no hurt? If indeed the man had 
been immortal, and this made him mortal, no doubt it would be a hurt: but if he be mortal, 
and in the course of nature must expect death a little later, and his enemy has but expedited 
his death, and glory with it, what is the harm? Let us but have our soul in good order, and 
there will be no harm from without. But thou art not in a condition of glory? And what of 
that? That which is true of wealth, the same holds for glory: if I be magnanimous 
(peyaAonpsiific;), I shall need none; if vainglorious, the more I get, the more I shall want. In 
this way shall I most become illustrious, and obtain greater glory; namely, if I despise glory. 
Knowing these things, let us be thankful to Him Who hath freely given us such a life, and 
let us ensue it unto His glory; for to Him belongs the glory, forever. Amen. 


341 Touto p£v ouv auto kokov, cpr|atv. Auto p£v ouv touto kocAov to pirj Kaf a^tav 7ta0£iv. Morel, from E. 
kokov for kocAov: which supposes it to be put interrogatively: “this thing itself an evil, say you?” — The philosopher, 
whose apothegm is here referred to, is Socrates: of whom Diog. Laert. in Vit. relates: “His wife having said, Thou 
art unjustly put to death: au 5e, £<pr|, StKatux; e(3ouAou; wouldst thou rather it were justly?” But Xenophon, in 
Apol. relates a similar answer made to Apollodorus, “a simple-minded but affectionate disciple of Socrates. This, 
said he, O Socrates, is what hurts me most, that I see thee unjustly put to death. And he, stroking the head of 
his disciple, replied: And wouldest thou, my friend, rather see me jusdy than unjustly put to death?” Down. ap. 
Sav. 

342 We supply this from the modern text, which, however, has tov oux outux;; But exetvovis better, as this 
will account for the omission. Our mss. have: toix; StKatux; attoSavovTat;, tj exelvov Kat 0aupai(£t<; 


178 



Homily XV on Acts vi. 8. 


Homily XV. 

Acts VI. 8 

“And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.” 

See how even among the seven one was preeminent, and won the first prize. For though 
the ordination was common to him and them, yet he drew upon himself greater grace. And 
observe, how he wrought no (signs and wonders) before this time, but only when he became 
publicly known; to show that grace alone is not sufficient, but there must be ordination also; 
so that there was a further access of the Spirit. For if they were full of the Spirit, it was of 
that which is from the Laver of Baptism. “Then there arose certain of them of the synagogue.” 
(v. 9.) Again he uses the phrase of “rising up” (dvcccrcacnv, Horn. xiii. p. 81), to denote their 
exasperation and wrath. Here we have a great multitude. And observe the difference in the 
form of accusation: for since Gamaliel had stopped them from finding fault on the former 
plea, they bring in another charge. “And there rose up, it says, certain of them of the syn- 
agogue of those who are called (roiv Aeyopevcov. Edd. rrjc; Asyopevip;) Libertines, and of 
the Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and Asia, disputing with Stephen. 
And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. Then they 
suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, 
and against God.” (v. 9-12.) That they may establish the charge, the phrase is, “he speaks 
against God, and against Moses.” And with this object too they disputed, that they might 
force him to say somewhat. But he now discoursed more openly, and perhaps spoke of the 
cessation of the Divine Law: or, spoke it not, but hinted as much: since had he spoken plainly, 
there had been no need of suborned men, nor yet of false witnesses. 343 The synagogues were 
diverse: [to wit, “Of the Libertines”] : “of the Cyrenians, i.e. those in the parts beyond Alex- 
andria [“of the Alexandrians,” etc.] . There also they seem to have had synagogues according 


343 The accusations against Stephen were probably true in part and false in part. He had doubtless spoken 
against Jewish legalism and narrowness and had perhaps shown the bearing of O.T. prophecy and of Jesus’ 
doctrine of fulfilment upon the fate of the Jewish system. The charge that he had spoken “against Moses” had, 
then, a certain verbal truth which made its moral falseness all the more subtle. The perversion of his words was 
due in part to their utter incapacity to apprehend Christianity as the fulfilment of their own religion which ne- 
cessarily involved the passing away of the latter, and partly from their bitter jealousy and hatred of the Christian 
“sect” and the determination to find some excuse to bring against it all the legal and social forces of the whole 
Jewish people. In his preaching Stephen had doubtless sought to set forth the distinctive character of Christianity 
as a religion historically founded in Judaism, but not to be limited and bound by its forms. He but developed 
germs of truth found in the teaching of Jesus concerning the Sabbath, ceremonial purifications, etc. He was the 
forerunner of Paul, who brought upon himself the same accusations (Acts xviii. 13; xxi. 21). — G.B.S. 


179 


Homily XV on Acts vi. 8. 


to their different nations; for many stayed behind there, that they might not be obliged to 
be continually travelling. The Libertines perhaps were freedmen of the Romans. As there 
were many foreigners dwelling there, so they had their synagogues, where the Law was to 
be read. “Disputing with Stephen.” Observe him, not taking upon him to teach, but forced 
to do so. The miracles once more brought him into ill-will; but when he overcame in argu- 
ment, it was false-witness! For they did not wish to kill intolerable to them. “They could not 
resist, etc.: then they suborned men.” Everywhere out of hand, but by means of a sentence, 
that they might hurt their reputation also: and leaving those (the Apostles), they attack these 
(the disciples), thinking in this way to terrify those also. They say not, “he speaketh,” but, 
“he ceaseth not to speak. And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and 
came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, and set up false witnesses, 
which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and 
the law.” (v. 12, 13.) “Ceaseth not,” say they, as if he made this his business. “For we have 
heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs 
which Moses delivered us.” (v. 14.) “Jesus,” they say, “the Nazarene,” as a term of reproach, 
“shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs.” This is also what they said about 
Christ. “Thou that destroyest this Temple.” (Matt, xxvii. 40.) For great was their veneration 
for the Temple (as indeed they had chosen to leave their own country (petoiKeiv) in order 
to be near it) and for the name of Moses. The charge is twofold. If 344 He “shall change the 
customs,” He will also introduce others instead: observe how the charge is a bitter one, and 
fraught with perils. “And all that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face 
as it had been the face of an angel.” (v. 15.) So possible is it even for one in a lower degree 
to shine. For what, I ask, had this man less than the Apostles? He lacked not miracles, and 
great was the boldness he exhibited. 345 — “They saw His face,” it is said, “as it had been the 
face of an angel.” (Ex. xxxiv. 30.) For this was his grace, this was the glory of Moses. God 
made him thus gracious (eiuxotpiv) of visage, now that he was about to say somewhat, thus 
at once by his very look to awe them. For there are, yes, there are faces full-fraught with 
spiritual grace, lovely to them that love, awful to haters and enemies. It mentions also the 
reason, why they suffered his oration. — “Then,” it proceeds, “said the high-priest, Are these 
things so?” (ch. vii. 1.) Observe, the question is put with mildness, that he may effect some 
great mischief. For this reason Stephen too begins his speech in a tone of gentleness, and 


344 E. “And observe how the charge is twofold. ‘Shall destroy,’ say they, ‘the place,’ and, ‘shall change the 
customs.’ And not only twofold, but bitter,” etc. So Edd. but Savil. adds, “and shall introduce others instead.” 

345 A. B. C. N. Ouxi aripeitov eSerjBri, Kai (A. B. ou) TtoAAi|v eiteSel^aro rriv Ttappr|alav. Cat. has noAAwv 
for aripclwv, and reads it affirmatively. Edd. ouxi ar|p£la etpydaaro; ou (D.F. Kai) TtoAAf|v k. r. X. Perhaps the 
passage may be restored thus: “Did he not work miracles — though he needed not many — and show great bold- 
ness?” 


180 


Homily XV on Acts vi. 8. 


says, “Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Ab- 
raham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran.” (v. 2.) Immediately at 
the outset he overthrows their conceit, and makes it appear by what he says, that the temple 
is nothing, that the customs are nothing either, without their suspecting his drift: also that 
they shall not overcome the preaching; and that from powerless (aprixavoov) things God 
evermore contrives Him powerful (suppxotva) instruments. Mark then how these threads 
make the texture of the whole speech: and moreover that having evermore enjoyed exceeding 
goodness, they still requited their Benefactor with the opposite conduct, and that they are 
now attempting impossibilities. “The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when 
he was in Mesopotamia, before he came into Charran.” Both the temple was not, and sacrifice 
was not, and yet a vision of God was vouchsafed to Abraham, and yet had he Persians 346 
for his ancestors, and was in a strange land. And he does well at the beginning of his speech 
to call Him, “the God of glory:” seeing that He hath made them that are without honor to 
be glorious. “Because” (says he) “it was He that made them glorious, He will make us also.” 
Observe how he leads them away from things of the body, from the place, in the first instance, 
as the place was in question. “The God of glory,” says he: implying again, that He needs not 
the glory which comes from us, which comes by the Temple: for Himself is the Fountain 
thereof. Think not, he would say, in this way to glorify Him. “And from thy kindred.” How 
then saith the Scripture, that Abraham’s father was willing to go out? Hence we learn, that 
it was in consequence of Abraham’s vision, that his father was moved to join in the migration. 
(Gen. xi. 31.) “And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and 
come into a land which I shall show thee.” (v. 3.) It shows how far these men are from being 
children of Abraham, how obedient he was. “And from thy kindred.” Uncomfortable 
(cpopriKOt) reflections, both, that he endured the labors, while ye reap the fruits, and that all 
your ancestors were in evil case. “Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt 
in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, He removed him into this land, 
wherein ye now dwell. And He gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set 
his foot on.” (v. 4, 5.) See how he raises their thoughts away from (their possession of) the 
land. 349 For if He said (that, He will give: clearly [all came from him], and nothing from 

346 Chrys. commonly denotes the oriental nations, generally, by the name “Persians.” Ben. 

347 Edd. from E. “And how, it may be asked, doth the Scripture say this concerning Abraham’s father? Because 
it does not trouble itself about matters that are not very essential. What was useful for us to learn, this only it 
has taught us, that in consequence of his son’s vision, he went out with him: the rest it leaves untold, by reason 
that he died soon after settling in Charran. ‘Get thee out of thy kindred.’ Here he shows that these men,” etc. 

348 E. Edd. “but these disobedient: or rather, we learn from what he does, as he was bidden, that he endured,” 
etc. 

349 A. C. N. El yap etnev, 5toaei, 5rjA.ov on, Kai ou5ev nap aurtov Cat. Ou yap k. t. A.. B. Ou yap etnev, 5toaet, 
aXX, Ouk eStone, SqAov on ra nap exelvou, Kal ou5ev nap aurtov. So E. D. F. Edd. except that for 5rjA.ov on 

181 


Homily XV on Acts vi. 8. 


themselves. For he came, having left both kindred and country. Wherefore then did He not 
give it to him? Truly it was a figure of another land. “And He promised to give it to him.” 
Do you perceive, that he does not merely resume the thread of his discourse? “He gave him 
not,” says he; “and He promised; and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.” 
Again, what God can do: that out of impossibilities, He doeth all. For here is a man in Persia, 
so far away, and this man God saith He will make lord of Palestine. But let us look back to 
what was said before. 

Whence, I pray you, did that grace bloom upon the countenance of Stephen? (Recapit- 
ulation.) The writer gives him this report above, that he was “full of faith.” (ch. vi. 8). For it 
is possible to have a grace that does not consist in works of healing: “For to one is given the 
grace of the Spirit (1 Cor. xii. 8, 9) in such and such wise (roicooSe). But here, it seems to 
me, it says that he was also gracious to look at: “They saw his face as it had been the face of 
an angel.” “Full of faith and of power”: (v. 15) which is also the character given of Barnabas 
“he was a good man, full of faith and of the Holy Ghost.” (ch. xi. 24.) Whence we learn that 

oca 

the sincere and innocent are, above all others, the men to be saved, and that these same 
are also more gracious. “Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak 
blasphemous words.” (v. 1 1 .) In the case of the Apostles they were annoyed that they preached 
the Resurrection, and that much people flowed unto them: but in this case, that they were 
getting their diseases healed, (ch. iv. 2.) The things for which they ought to give thanks, they 
made matter of blame: O the madness! The men who overcame them by works, they expected 
to overcome by words! It is just what they did in the case of Christ, and always they forced 
them to words. For they were ashamed to seize them without more ado, having nothing to 
charge them with. And observe, not the persons themselves who bring them to judgment 
bear witness against them; for they would have been refuted: but they simply hire others, 
that it may not seem to be an act of mere violence. It is all of a piece with their proceeding 
in the case of Christ. And observe the power of the preaching, that, though they are not only 

5C1 

scourged but stoned, it still prevails: not only, private individuals as they are, dragged to 

ret these have 5qA.wv on ttavra. The meaning seems to be: “They boasted of their possession of the land, as the 
token of God’s favor to themselves. See how Stephen will not allow them to rest in this conceit. Abraham was 
‘the friend of God,’ yet to him ‘He gave none inheritance,’ etc. True ‘He promised to give it’: but if God said 
(that) He will give it (spoke of giving it at some future time); this very circumstance shows that the Jews had it 
from Abraham, in consequence of God’s favor to him; not as deserved by themselves.” 

350 rou<; owijopEvout;. Edd. from E. rout; Saupatjopevouq, “they that are admired.” — Below, all our mss. and 
the Catena have ’Etc! pev rwv attoaroAwv eAeyov, “In the case of the Apostles, they said.” We read, conjecturally, 
rjAyouv. 

351 C. N. have ouxt tStwrwv ovrwv aXXa kou eAauvopevwv ttavroSev: B. F. D. E. Edd. ou5e eq StKaarrjptov 
ayopevwv, aXXa teat eX. n. In the translation we assume the full reading to be, ouxt, tStwrwv ovrwv, eq 5. 
ayopevwv, aXXa teat e. tt. In the next sentence E. alone (followed by Edd.) has the unnecessary alteration, 

182 


Homily XV on Acts vi. 8. 


the bar, but assailed from all quarters: and, their enemies themselves being witnesses, not 
only were these worsted, but “they were not able” even “to resist” (v. 10), though they were 
exceeding shameless: so mightily did it overthrow them, for all that they could do with their 
preposterous figments (as the saying that He had a devil — He that cast out devils!). For the 
battle was not man’s, but God’s against men. And there were many combined together; not 
only they in Jerusalem, but others as well. (v. 9.) For “we have heard him,” say they, 
“speaking blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” (v. 11.) O ye shameless 
ones ! Y e work blasphemous deeds, and think nothing of it. This is why Moses is added — be- 
cause the things of God were no great concern to them: and it is ever and always Moses that 
they make mention of: “This Moses, which brought us out.” (ch. vii. 40.) “And they stirred 

in 

up the people.” (v. 12.) Fickleness of the multitude! And yet how could a man who was 
a blasphemer have so succeeded? How could a blasphemer work such miracles among the 
people? But the undisciplined multitude made them strong who had the worst of it (in ar- 
gument). — This was what most annoyed them. “We have heard him,” they say, “speaking 
blasphemous words against Moses and against God” (v. 13): and again, “This man ceaseth 
not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place and the law,” and with an addition, 
“the customs” “which Moses delivered to us” (v. 14); Moses, not God. Upon the supposition 
of a design to overturn their manner of life (noAirsiac;), they accused him of impiety also. 
But to show that it was not in the nature of such a man to speak such things, and harshly 
[“Then all,” it says, “which were in the council, looking steadfastly upon him, saw his face, 
as it had been the face of an angel”] (v. 15): so mild was he even in countenance. For, in 
cases where persons were not falsely accused, Scripture mentions nothing of this kind: but 
as in this case it was all false accusation, with reason does God rectify it by the very look of 
the man. For the Apostles indeed were not falsely accused, but were forbidden: but this man 
is falsely accused: and therefore before all else his countenance pleads for him. This abashed 


’EvteuSev kou t|;£u5opapTupouvTWv aurwv, ou povov ouk EKparouv, aXX' k. r. X. A. ouxt 15. ovrwv aXXa Kai 
pqropwv, ou povov [oi>x?] f|rru>vro, aXXa Kai [Kara?] Kpdroq evikwv, Kairoi k. t. X. i. e. [“their adversaries”] 
being not private individuals, but public speakers too, they not only were [not] worsted, but mightily conquered: 
[so that ‘they were not able to resist’] though,” etc. — Below, for 7tAdrrovra<;: A. E. Ttparrovrac; C. we read 
Ttparrovrac; Kai itAarrovrac;: after which, Edd. have (from E. alone): “As also in the case of Christ: who did 
everything to compass His death: insomuch that it became manifest to all men that the battle,” etc. And, instead 
of the next sentence; “And mark what say the false-witnesses, who were got up by those who murderously 
dragged Him before the council: ‘We have heard,’” etc. 

352 to Euputiarov rou oxAou. Edd. add dv£p£0i^ovt£<;, “irritating the fickle-minded multitude.” Below, for 
’AXX’ 6 oxA-oq 6 araKroc; k. t. X., A. has 'AXX' oux 6 oxAoq raura aXX’ oi Ypapparetq. 'Hpclc; <xk. k. t. X. “But not 
the multitude (said) this, but the scribes: We have heard,” etc. Edd. from E., “But such is envy: it makes them 
demented whom it possesses, so that they do not so much as consider the meaning of the words they utter.” 

183 


Homily XV on Acts vi. 8. 


even the priest. “And he said,” etc. (ch. vii. 1.) He shows here, that the promise was made 
before the Place, before Circumcision, before Sacrifice, before the Temple, and that it was 
not of their merit that these received either Circumcision or Law, but that the land was the 
reward of obedience alone. Moreover, that neither on the giving of circumcision does the 
promise receive its fulfillment. Also, that these were figures, and (so was) both the leaving 
his country at God’s command — not against the law (for home and country is where 

God shall lead): “Then came he out,” it says, “of the land of the Chaldeans” (v. 4): — and that 
if one look closely into the matter, the Jews are of Persian origin: and that, without miracles, 
one must do as God bids, whatever hardships be the consequence; since the Patriarch left 
both the grave of his father and all that he had, in obedience to God’s command. But if Ab- 
raham’s father was not allowed to take part with him in the privilege of migrating to Palestine, 
because he was unworthy: much more shall the children (be excluded at last), for all that 
they may have gone a good distance on the way. “And He promised,” it says, “to give it to 
him, and to his seed after him.” (v. 5.) Herein is shown the greatness both of God’s goodness 
and of Abraham’s faith. For the expression, “when as yet he had no child,” does show his 
obedience and faith. “Promised to give it to him and to his seed.” And yet the events showed 
the contrary: namely, after he came, he had not “so much as to set his foot on,” had not a 
child; which very things were contrary to his faith. 

These things having seen, let us likewise, whatever God shall promise, receive the same, 
however contrary may be the events. And yet in our case, they are not contrary, but very 
suitable. For where the promises are, there, when the contraries turn out, they are really 
contrary; but in our case it is just the reverse: for He has told us that we should have tribu- 
lation here, but our rest there. Why do we confound the times? Why do we turn things upside 
down? Say, art thou afflicted, and livest in poverty, and in dejection? Be not troubled: for it 
were worth being troubled at, wert thou destined to be afflicted in that world: as for this 
present affliction, it is the cause of rest. “This sickness,” saith He, “is not unto death.” (John 
xi. 4.) That affliction is punishment: this, schooling and correction. It is a contest, this life 
present: if so, to fight is our business now: it is war and battle. In war one does not seek to 
have rest, in war one does not seek to have dainty living, one is not anxious about riches, 
one’s care is not about a wife then: one thing only he looks at, how he may overcome his 
foes. Be this our care likewise: if we overcome, and return with the victory, God will give us 
all things. Be this alone our study, how we may overcome the devil: though after all it is not 
our own study that does it, but God’s grace does the whole business. Be it our one study, 
how we may attract His grace, how we may draw to ourselves that assistance. “If God be for 


353 ou Ttapa rov vopov. For this, E. alone has non avyyeveiav, and instead of the text, “Then came he out,” 
etc. kou to KAripovoplav evrauBa pi) Aa(3eTv: so Morel. Ben. Savile retains the reading of E., but adds ou Ttapa 
tov vopov after avyyevEiav. 


184 


Homily XV on Acts vi. 8. 


us, who can be against us?” (Rom. viii. 31.) Let us make one thing our study; that He be not 
our enemy, that He turn not away from us. 

Not the being afflicted is an evil; the evil is, to sin. This is the sore affliction, however 
we may pass our days in luxury: — not to speak of the life to come, it is so even in this life 
present. Think how our conscience is stung with remorse, and whether this is not worse 
than any kind of torture! I should like to put the question searchingly to those who live in 
evil ways (ev kockou;), whether they never come to reflect upon their own sins, whether they 
do not tremble, and are in fear and anguish, whether they do not think those blessed who 
live in abstinence, them of the mountains, them of the strict rule? (roue; sv TioAAfj cpiAoaocpi& 
139 - .) Dost thou wish to find rest in the life to come? Suffer affliction in this life for Christ’s 
sake: there is nothing equal to this rest. The Apostles rejoiced when scourged. Paul gives 
this exhortation, saying, “Rejoice in the Lord.” (Philip, iv. 4.) And how can there be rejoicing, 
where there are bonds, where there are tortures; where there are courts of justice? There, 
most of all, is rejoicing. But 354 say, how can there be rejoicing, where these are not? For he 
who is conscious of no evil, will have a sort of exceeding delight, insomuch that in what 
degree you speak of tribulation, in the same you tell of his delight. The soldier who has re- 
ceived numberless wounds and is come home again, will he not return with exceeding delight, 

ore 

with his wounds as his title for speaking up boldly, and as evidence of his glory and 
renown? And thou, if thou be able to exclaim as Paul does, “I bear the marks of Jesus” (Gal. 
vi. 17), wilt be able to become great and glorious and renowned. “But there is no persecution.” 
Make thy stand against glory: and should any one speak anything against thee, fear not to 
be evil-spoken of for Christ’s sake: make thy stand against the tyranny of pride, against the 
fighting of anger, against the torment of concupiscence. These also are “marks,” these 
also are torments. For, I ask, what is the worst in tortures? Is it not, that the soul is pained, 
and is on fire? For in the other case, the body too has its share: but in this, the whole belongs 
to the soul. On the soul alone comes all the smart, when one is angry, when one is envious, 
whatever else of this kind one does, or rather suffers. For, in fact, it is not action, but passion, 
not a doing, but a suffering — to be angered, to feel envy: therefore indeed they are called 
passions (or sufferings) (raxGq, perturb ationes) of the soul, yea wounds, and bruises. For it 
is indeed a suffering, and worse than suffering. Bethink you, ye that are angry, that ye do 
such things in “passion,” in a state of suffering. Therefore he who is not angry suffers not. 
Do you mark that not he who is abused is the sufferer, but he that abuses, as I said above? 


354 E. F. D. Edd. “And how there may be rejoicing where these are, learn (thus). He who in nothing is conscious 
of evil,” etc. 

355 Ttappr|cna<; unoSeatv exwv ra rpaupara. Ben “argumentum audacice.” Erasm. “testimonium libertatis.” 

356 arlypara, i.e. “the marks of Jesus may be gained in these encounters also, and the spirit of a confessor 
may be exhibited under these tortures likewise.” 


185 


Homily XV on Acts vi. 8. 


For that he is a sufferer, is plain in the first place from the very fact, that such a thing is called 
by this name of passion: and it is also plain from the (effects on the) body: for these are the 
affections (rax0r|) for “sufferings,” as we call them] engendered by anger, viz. dimness of 
vision, insanity, and numberless others. “But he insulted my boy,” say you; “but [he called 
him] clown.” Deem it not weakness thy not doing the same thing thyself. For, I ask you, 
was it well done? You will not say that: then leave that undone which being done were not 
well done. I know what passions are engendered in such cases. “But,” say you, “how if he 
despise me, how if he say it again?” Show him that he is in the wrong: rebuke him, entreat 
him: by meekness anger is put down: go and expostulate with him. For though in cases of 
wrong done to ourselves it is right not to do even this, yet it is quite necessary to do it in 
behalf of others. Do not look on it as an insult to yourself that your boy has been insulted: 
annoyed you may be for his sake, yet not as if you were insulted: for it does not follow because 
your boy has been ill-treated, that you are disgraced, but he is disgraced that did the ill. 
Quench (thine anger) that sharp sword: let it lie in its scabbard. If we have it unsheathed, 
we shall be apt to use it even when the time is not proper, being drawn on by it: but if it be 

iro 

hidden, though a necessity should arise, yet, while we seek it in order to draw it, the anger 

will be quenched. Christ would not have us be angry on his account: (hear what He saith to 
Peter: “Put up again thy sword into the sheath:”) (Matt. xxvi. 52) and art thou angry on ac- 
count of a boy? Teach thy boy also to be philosophical: tell him thy own sufferings: imitate 
(herein) thy Teacher. (Matt. xxvi. 52.) When they too (His disciples) were about to be treated 
with dishonor, He said not, “I will avenge you:” but, “to Me also,” saith He, “they have done 
the same: bear it nobly, for ye are not better than I.” These words too do thou speak to thy 
son and thy boy: “Thou art not better than thy master.” But these words of philosophy are 
counted as the talk of a widow woman. Alas! that it is not in the power of words to bring it 
home to people in the way that it is possible to be taught it by actual experience! And that 
you may learn this; stand between two combatants, take part with the wronged, not with 


357 aAAa tov aypotKov. Edd. from E., aAAa tov o1k£tt|v: which is idle, for it appears below that the rout; here 
is a servant. We supply exaMae or eittev: and indeed av TtdA.iv eiTtp below shows that the insult spoken of was 
some contumelious speech. — Also before Ml) voplar|<;, something needs to be supplied, e.g. Mi) au pipfjar] 
toutov, “Do not thou imitate him.” And perhaps indeed tov ayp- may belong to this: “He insulted my boy.” 
But do not thou imitate the rude, uncivil man: deem it not, etc. 

358 d><; ^r|TOup£v aK£Ttaaai. A.B.C. The other mss. omit the clause, and Edd. except Savile who reads from 
N. ou ^r|TOupev auri)v aTtdaai, “we do not seek to draw it.” We adopt ondaou. — Below, E. F. D. Edd. rou Aeotcotou, 
“thy Master’s sufferings,” for aauTOU, which the context shows to be the true reading. 


186 


Homily XV on Acts vi. 8. 


the wrong-doers [that you may learn] whether you shall not see the victory on your side, 
whether you shall not get splendid crowns. — See, how God is insulted, and how He answers; 
how gently, “Where,” saith He, “is Abel thy brother?” and what saith the other: “Am I my 
brother’s keeper?” (Gen. vi. 9.) What could be more contumacious than this? Would any 
one have heard it (patiently) even from a son? and if from a brother, would he not have 
thought such conduct an insult? What then? See how again God gently answers, “The voice 
of thy brother’s blood,” saith He “crieth unto Me.” “But God,” it will be said, “is superior to 
wrath.” Yes, but for this reason the Son of God came down, that He might make thee a God 
as far as human power can go. “But I cannot,” says one, “seeing I am man.” Well then, let 
us give you men for instances. And do not suppose I speak of Paul or of Peter: no, but of 
some of inferior sort, yea, very much lower down. Eli’s menial insulted Hannah, saying, 
“Put away thy wine from thee.” (1 Sam. i. 14.) What could be more insulting than this? What 

•3 /CO 

then said she? “I am a woman of a hard lot.” Indeed, there is nothing equal to affliction: 
she is the mother of true philosophy. But this same woman, though she has her rival, insulted 
her not: but what does she? She takes refuge with God, and in her prayer does not even make 
mention of her, nor say, “Avenge me, for such an one reproaches me:” so magnanimous 
was that woman (let us men be ashamed): — and yet ye know, that there is nothing like 
jealousy. The publican, when insulted by the Pharisee, insulted not in return, though, had 
he wished it, he might have done so: but he bore it like a philosopher, saying, “Be merciful 

i/r i 

to me a sinner.” (Luke xviii. 13.) Mephibosheth, having been accused and calumniated 
by his servant, neither said, nor did, any evil to him, not even in the presence of the king 
himself. (2 Sam. xix. 26.) Shall I tell you even of a harlot, what philosophic magnanimity 
she showed? Hear Christ saying, as she was wiping His feet with her hair, “The publicans 
and harlots go into the kingdom before you.” (Matt. xxi. 31.) Do you see her standing, and 
taking courage, and washing away her own sins? Observe, how she was not angry even with 
the Pharisee, when reproached by him: “for had He known,” says he, “that this woman is a 
sinner, He would not have suffered her (Luke vii. 39): and how she said not to him, “What 
then? Say, art thou pure from sins?” but felt more, wept more, and let fall hotter tears. But 
if women and publicans and harlots play the philosopher, and that before grace (i.e. of 
Baptism), what pardon can they deserve, who, after so great grace, fight, and worry, and 
kick one another, worse than beasts? Nothing is more base than passion, nothing more 


359 av pr| napa aaurw ra viKrynjpta i'5r|c; av pi) Aapitpoix; Aa(3r|<; arecpavouq This depends on iva pa0r|<; at 
the beginning of the sentence. Erasmus wrongly, “Si non videos:” Ben. “Si non videbis.” 

360 y uvi 1 0 KA.r|pa f|pepa dpi, Chrys. yuvi) f| aKA.r|pd f|pepa (or f|pepa) LXX. 

361 Memphibaal, Chrys. here and Synops. Sacr. Script, t. vi. 349. and Theodoret Qucest. 31, in lib. 2. Reg. 
Mep<pi(3oa0£, LXX. Elsewhere he is called Meribbaal, 1 Chron. viii. 34. So Jerub baal, Judg. vi. 32. Jerubfoestief/i, 
2 Sam. xi. 21. Memphibaal is compounded of the two forms. Ben. 


187 


Homily XV on Acts vi. 8. 


disgraceful, nothing more frightful, nothing more odious, nothing more hurtful. These 
things I say, not only in order that towards men we may be gentle, but also if a wife be a 
talker, that thou mayest bear it: let thy wife be to thee a school for training and exercise 
(naAcuarpa real yupvaoiov). For how can it but be absurd, to submit to exercises which 
yield no profit, where we afflict the body, but not to practise exercises at home, which, even 
before the contest, present to us a crown? Does thy wife abuse thee? Do not thou become a 
woman: to be abusive is womanly: it is a disease of the soul, an inferiority. Think not that 
it is unworthy of thee, when thy wife abuses thee. Unworthy it is, when thou art abusive, 
but she bears patiently (cpiAooocprj): then dost thou act unseemly, then art thou disgraced: 
but if, having been abused, thou bear it, great is the proof of thy strength. I do not say this, 
to induce wives to be abusive: God forbid: but only in case it should so happen at the instance 
of Satan. It is the part of men that are strong, to bear the weak. And if thy servant contradict 
thee, bear it philosophically: not what he deserves to have said to him, do thou say or do, 
but that which it behooves thee both to do and to say. Never insult a girl by uttering some 
foul word against her: never call thy servant, scoundrel (piapov): not he is disgraced, but 
thou. It is not possible to be master of one’s self, being in a passion. Like a sea rolling 
mountains high, it is all hurly-burly: or even as a pure fountain, when mire is cast into it, 
becomes muddied, and all is in turmoil. You may beat him, you may rend his coat to rags, 
but it is you that sustain the greater damage: for to him the blow is on the body and the 
garment, but to you on the soul. It is your own soul that you have cut open; it is there that 
you have inflicted a wound: you have flung your own charioteer from his horses, you have 
got him dragging along the ground upon his back. And it is all one, as if one driver being 
in a passion with another, should choose to be thus dragged along. You may rebuke, you 
may chide, you may do whatever if be, only let it be without wrath and passion. For if he 
who rebukes is physician to him who offends, how can he heal another, when he has first 
hurt himself, when he does not heal himself? Say, if a physician should go to heal another 
person, does he first wound his own hand, first blind his own eyes, and so set about healing 
that other? God forbid. So also, however thou rebuke, however thou chide, let thine eyes 
see clearly. Do not make thy mind muddy, else how shall the cure be wrought? It is not 
possible to be in the same tranquillity, being in a passion, and being free from passion. Why 
dost thou first overturn thy master from his seat, and then discourse with him as he lies 
sprawling on the ground? Seest thou not the judges, how, when about to hold the assize, 
they seat themselves upon the bench, in their becoming attire? Thus do thou likewise dress 
thy soul with the judicial robe (which is gentleness). “But he will not be afraid of me,” say 
you. He will be the more afraid. In the other case, though you speak justly, your servant will 
impute it to passion: but if you do it with gentleness, he will condemn himself: and, what is 
of the first importance, God will accept thee, and thus thou wilt be able to attain unto the 
eternal blessings, through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with 


188 



Homily XV on Acts vi. 8. 


Whom to the Father together with the Holy Spirit be glory, dominion, and honor, now and 
ever, and world without end. Amen. 


189 



Homily XVI on Acts vii. 6, 7 . 


Homily XVI. 

Acts VII. 6, 7 

“And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they 
should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years. And the nation 
to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come 
forth, and serve Me in this place.” 

See, what a number of years the Promise has been given, and the manner of the Promise, 
and nowhere sacrifice, nowhere circumcision! He here shows, how God Himself suffered 

'If.') 

them to be afflicted, not that He had anything to lay to their charge. “And they shall bring 

them into bondage,” etc. But nevertheless, they did not these things with impunity. “And 
the nation to whom they shall be in bondage I will judge, said God.” For, to show that 
they are not to go by this, in estimating who are pious (by reason of their saying, “He trusted 
in God, let Him deliver Him,”) (Matt, xxvii. 43). — He, the Same that promised, He that gave 
the land, first permits the evils. So also now, though He has promised a Kingdom, yet He 
suffers us to be exercised in temptations. If here the freedom was not to be till after four 
hundred years, what wonder, with regard to the Kingdom? Yet he performed it, and lapse 
of time availed not to falsify His word. Moreover, it was no ordinary bondage they under- 
went. 364 And the matter does not terminate solely in the punishment of those (their oppress- 
ors); but they themselves also, He saith, shall enjoy a mighty salvation. Here he reminds 
them too of the benefit which they enjoyed. “And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: 
and so he begat Isaac.” Here he lets himself down to lower matters. “And circumcised him 

-i/rr 

on the eighth day: and Isaac (begat) Jacob, and Jacob the twelve patriarchs.” (v. 8). — Here 


362 Kairoi ouScv eywv aurolc; eyKaAciv. A. B. C. N. Cat. — E. F. D. Edd. omit this clause, and read: “to be af- 
flicted: and that they did not,” etc. So Edd. 

363 "Iva yap pi) rourw (Cat. rourwv, A. C. N. rouro B. om.) vopiowotv euaefSeu; (N. euaefSetv) sivat, 5ta to 
Aiyetv k. t. X. The wording of the passage is not strictly grammatical, but the sense seems to be as expressed 
above. — E. D. F. omit this sentence, and substitute, “Seest thou?” So Edd. 

364 The relation of v. 6 and 7 to v. 5 is, as Chrys. intimates, to show that the apparent incongruity between 
the promise of God to give the land to Abraham and his seed, and the fact that Abraham never personally pos- 
sessed the land, was not accidental nor did it involve the failure of the divine promise. Accompanying the 
promise were divine assurances (Gen. xv. 13, 14) that a period of bondage and oppression was to precede the 
occupation of the land which was to be the inheritance of the nation. — G.B.S. 

365 E. Edd. omit this sentence: and below for “Here again,” etc. the same substitute: “This happened also in 
the case of Christ: for indeed Joseph is a type of Him: wherefore also he narrates the history at large, hinting (at 
this meaning).” 


190 


Homily XVI on Acts vii. 6, 7 . 


he seems to hint now at the type. “And the patriarchs moved with envy, sold Joseph into 
Egypt.” (v. 9.) Here again, the type of Christ. Though they had no fault to find with him, 
and though he came on purpose to bring them their food, they thus ill-treated him. Still 
here again the promise, though it is a long while first, receives its fulfillment. “And God was 
with him” — this also is for them — “and delivered him out of all his afflictions.” (v. 10). He 
shows that unknowingly they helped to fulfil the prophecy, and that they were themselves 
the cause, and that the evils recoiled on their own selves. “And gave him favor and wisdom 
in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt, Gave him favor,” in the eyes of a barbarian, to him, 
the slave, the captive: his brethren sold him, this (barbarian) honored him. “Now there came 
a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found 
no sustenance. But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent out our fathers 
first. And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren.” (v. 11-13). They 
came down to buy, and had to depend upon him for everything. What then did he? [“He 
made himself known to his brethren:”] not to this point only did he carry his friendliness; 
he also made them known to Pharaoh, and brought them down into the land. “And Joseph’s 
kindred was made known unto Pharaoh. Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to 
him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls. So Jacob went down into Egypt, and 
died, he, and our fathers, and were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that 
Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem. But when 
the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham the people grew and 
multiplied in Egypt, till another king arose, which knew not Joseph.” (v. 13-18). Then again, 
fresh disappointment (dveXniarfa): first, famine, but they came through that: secondly, the 
falling into the hands of their enemy: thirdly, the being destroyed by the king. Then (to 
show) God’s fulness of ways and means (eupnxavov), “In which time,” it says, “Moses was 
born, and was exceeding fair.” (v. 20.) If the former circumstance was wonderful, that Joseph 
was sold by his brethren, here again is another circumstance more wonderful still, that the 
king “nourished” the very person who was to overthrow his dominion, being himself the 
person that was to perish. Do you observe all along a figurative enacting, so to say, of the 
resurrection of the dead? But it is not the same thing for God himself to do a thing, and for 
a thing to come to pass in connection with man’s purpose (npooupecnc;). For these things 
indeed were in connection with man’s purpose [ but the Resurrection by itself, independ- 

366 If it be too strong language to say, with Chrys., that Joseph is set forth here as a “type of Christ,” it is clear 
that the narrative of his ill-treatment by his brethren, subsequent exaltation and his return of good for evil to 
those who had sold him into bondage, is meant to suggest that their treatment of Jesus had been similar. — G.B.S. 

367 r| 5e avaazaaiq k<x0’ eaurqv. This clause is found in the Catena alone. Something seems to be required 
as the antithesis to the preceding clause, raura pev yap pera ttpoatp. av0p. f|v — for which E. Edd. have raura 
youv ouk atto ttpoatp. av0p. qv. “These things however did not come of man’s purpose.” — At the end of the 


191 


Homily XVI on Acts vii. 6, 7 . 


ently.] — “And he was mighty,” it says, “in word and in deed” (v. 22): he that was to have 
died. Then again he shows how ungrateful they were to their benefactor. For, just as in the 
former instance, they were saved by the injured Joseph, so here again they were saved by 

O /TQ 

another injured person, I mean, Moses. “And when he was full forty years old,” etc. For 
what though they killed him not actually? In intention they did kill, as did the others in the 
former case. There, they sold out of their own into a strange land: here, they drive from one 
strange land into another strange land: in the former case, one in the act of bringing them 
food; in this, one in the act of giving them good counsel; one to whom, under God, the man 
was indebted for his life! Mark how it shows (the truth of) that saying of Gamaliel’s, “If it 
be of God, ye cannot overthrow it.” (ch. v. 39.) See the plotted- against eventually becoming 
the authors of salvation to those plotting against them: the people, plotting against itself, 

and itself plotted against by others; and for all this, saved! A famine, and it did not consume 
them: nor was this all: but they were saved by means of the very person, whom they had 
expected to be destroyed (by their means). A royal edict, and it did not consume them: nay 
then most did their number increase, when he was dead “who knew” them. Their own Saviour 
they wished to kill, but for all that, they had not power to do it. Do you observe, that by the 
means whereby the devil tried to bring to naught the promise of God, by those very means 
it was advanced? 

'l r 7f\ 

“And God spake on this wise,” etc. (Recapitulation, v. 6, 7.) This is suitable to be said 
here also: that God is rich in ways and means to bring us up from hence. For this above all 
showed the riches of God’s resources, that in its very reverses (omocrcpocprj) the nation in- 


next sentence, Edd. (with E. alone) omit the clause, 6 ocpelAwv dnoSavelv: and for Eira TtdA.iv, have, “This he 
says, by way of showing both him (Moses) as savior, and these ungrateful to their benefactor.” 

368 Tl ydp et pi) aveTAov aurov ru> Ttpaypan; ru> Aoycp aveTAov wcmep KaKeTvoi. N. and Catena read aveTAev, 
both times, as if the Compiler understood the passage in the sense of a preceding comment extracted from S. 
Clem. Alex. Strom, “tpaai 5e oi puarai Aoycp povcp aveAeTv rov AlyuTtriov: the initiated say that Moses struck 
the Egyptian dead by a word, as in the Acts Peter is related to have done in the case of Ananias,” etc. But Chrys. 
nowhere thus interprets the fact, and the context, waTtep k&k£Tvoi, is against this view. — Below, 51 ov pera 
0eov: i.e. the Hebrew whom Moses saved, v. 24, who is here supposed to be one of the parties in the strife 
mentioned in v. 26. This however not being clear, A., as usual omits: and the innovator assuming the passage 
to be corrupt, substitutes, 51 tbv eoovrai pera 0£ou, giving them counsel by means of which they shall be with 
God.” So Edd.: only Sav. notes in the margin the genuine reading of the other mss. and Cat. 

369 E. “But do thou, observing this, stand amazed at the riches of God’s wisdom and resources: for, had those 
not been plotted against, these had not been saved.” So Edd. 

370 Touro teat evrauOa apporret eiiteTv. Edd. from E. only, rouro teat aurouc; rjpporre tore eiiteTv: “This was 
also suitable for them to say at that time.” It was not perceived that the recapitulation begins here. See note 5, 

p. 102. 


192 


Homily XVI on Acts vii. 6, 7 . 


creased, while enslaved, while evil- entreated, and sought to be exterminated. And this is the 
greatness of the Promise. For had it increased in its own land, it had not been so wonderful. 
And besides, it was not for a short time, either, that they were in the strange land: but for 

in I 

four hundred years. Hence we learn a (great lesson) of philosophic endurance 
(cpiAocrocpiav): — they did not treat them as masters use slaves, but as enemies and tyr- 
ants — and he foretold that they should be set in great liberty: for this is the meaning of that 
expression, “They shall serve (Me): and they shall come up hither again” (svrauGct 
snavsAsuoovrai); and with impunity. 372 — And observe, how, while he seems to concede 
something to circumcision, he in fact allows it nothing (v. 8); since the Promise was before 
it, and it followed after. — “And the patriarchs,” he says, “moved with envy.” (v. 9.) Where 

it does no harm, he humors (xotpftjerai) them: 373 for they prided themselves much on these 

'in A 

also. — And he shows, that the saints were not exempt from tribulation, but that in their 
very tribulations they obtained help. And that these persons did themselves help to bring 
about the results, who wished to cut short these same (afflictions): just as these made Joseph 
the more glorious: just as the king did Moses, by ordering the children to be killed: since 
had he not ordered, this would not have been: just as also that (Hebrew) drives Moses into 
exile, that there he may have the Vision, having become worthy. Thus also him who was 
sold for a slave, makes He to reign as king there, where he was thought to be a slave. Thus 
also does Christ in His death give proof of His power: thus also does He there reign as king 

'incz 

where they sold Him. “And gave him favor and wisdom,” etc. (v. 10.) This was not only 
by way of honor, but that he should have confidence in his own power. “And he made him 
governor over Egypt and all his house.” “Now there came a dearth,” etc. On account of 
famine — such preparations is he making — “with threescore and fifteen souls,” he says, 
“Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he and our fathers, and were carried over into Sy- 
chem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money from the sons of 


371 Edd. from E. D. F. “how they exhibited a great (example of) philosophy.” 

372 Edd. (from E. alone) teat ouk aTtpcopqTl, “not unavenged (upon their enemies).” But the meaning is, 
“Their enemies shall not be able to be avenged of them.” 

373 E. D. F. insert for explanation, Ttarptdpxou; 5e cpqai roue; ttpoyovouc;: “he calls their ancestors, patriarchs.” 
This is the “humoring” spoken of above: in C.’s time, “patriarch” had become a title of honor. 

374 Edd. from E. “But they not only did not loose (the afflictions), but even cooperated with those afflicting 
them, when they ought rather to have cut through them (the afflictions).” 

375 Morel. Ben. with E. D. F. omit this clause: Savile transposes it. “But as this (Joseph) reigns there as king 
where they sold him, so does Christ in His death,” etc. — In the next sentence, rouro seems to refer to the descrip- 
tion in Gen. xli. 42, 43, of the distinctions conferred upon Joseph, which perhaps Chrys. cited. — After this sentence, 
Edd. have (from E. only) the formula of recapitulation, ’AAA.’ i5wpev k. t. A., which is quite misplaced. — Below, 
A. and the mod. t. insert “Opa, before 5ta Atpov oia KaraaKeuaijei. 


193 


Homily XVI on Acts vii. 6, 7 . 


07/r 

Emmor the father of Sychem.” (v. 11-16). It shows, that they were not masters even to 
the extent of a burying-place. “But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had 
sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, till another king arose, which 
knew not Joseph” (v. 17, 18). Observe, that it is not during the four hundred years that He 
multiplies them, but (only) when the end was about to draw nigh. And yet already four 
hundred years were passed, nay more, in Egypt. But this is the wonder of it. “The same dealt 
subtly with our kindred, and evil- entreated our fathers, that they should cast out their young 
children, to the end they might not live.” (v. 19.) “Dealt subtly:” he hints at their not liking 
to exterminate them openly: “that they should cast out their young children,” it says. “In 
which time Moses was born and was exceeding fair.” (v. 20.) This is the wonder, that he 
who is to be their champion, is born, neither after nor before, these things, but in the very 
midst of the storm (Gupta). “And was nourished up in his father’s house three months.” But 
when man’s help was despaired of, and they cast him forth, then did God’s benefit shine 
forth conspicuous. “And when he was cast out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him up, and 
nourished him for her own son.” (v. 21.) Not a word of Temple, not a word of Sacrifice, 
while all these Providences are taking place. And he was nourished in a barbarian house. 
“And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and 

'inn 

in deeds.” (v. 22.) “Was trained,” both in discipline and in letters. “And when he was full 
forty years old.” (v. 23.) Forty years he was there, and was not found out from his being 
circumcised. Observe, how, being in safety, they overlook their own interests, both he and 
Joseph, in order that they may save others: “And when he was full forty years old, it came 
into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer 
wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: for 
he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver 
them: but they understood not.” (v. 23-25.) — See how up to this point he is not yet offensive 
to them; how they listened to him while he said all this. And “his face,” we read, “was as the 
face of an angel” (ch. vi. 15). — “For he supposed,” etc. And yet it was by deeds that his 
championship was shown; what intelligence was there need of here? but still for all this “they 
understood not. And the next day he showed himself unto them as they strove, and would 
have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another?” 


376 The reading of rou Euxep (T. R.), doubtless meaning the “father of Sychem” (Gen. xxxiii. 19), is replaced 
by Tisch., W. and H. (after IEL B. C.) with ev Euxep, making Euxep the name of the place just mentioned — not 
of the person referred to in the O.T. The Vulgate renders/?/!! Sichem thus coming into collision with the O.T. 
/. c. — G.B.S. 

377 Kai Ttai5el& 139’ Kai ypappaatv, as the comment on £Ttai5eu0r| v. 22, which must be supplied. Cat. has, 
kou TtatSela Kai ypappara. E. omits the clause, and substitutes, as the beginning of the next sentence, ’Epoi 
0aupa^£tv £Tt£pxerat tiox;. “To me it occurs to wonder how he could be forty years,” etc. So Edd. 


194 


Homily XVI on Acts vii. 6, 7 . 


(v. 26-28.) Do you mark with what mildness he addresses them? He who had shown his 

'2 r 7Q 

wrath in the case of the other, shows his gentleness in his own case. “But he that did his 
neighbor wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? Wilt 
thou kill me, as thou didst the Egyptian yesterday?” Mark; the very words which they said 
to Christ: “Who made Thee ruler and judge over us?” So habitual a thing was it for Jews to 
wrong (their benefactors) when in the act of receiving benefits! And again, mark the atrocious 
baseness: (piapfav al. pox0ijpiav, Sav. marg.) “As thou didst the Egyptian yesterday! Then 
fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Midian, where he begat two sons.” 
(v. 29.) But neither did flight extinguish the plan of Providence, as neither did death (i.e. 
the death of Christ). 

“And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount 
Sinai an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush.” (v. 30.) Do you mark that it is not 
hindered by lapse of time? For when he was an exile, when a stranger, when he had now 
passed much time in a foreign land, so as to have two sons, when he no longer expected to 
return, then does the Angel appear to him. The Son of God he calls an Angel, as also he calls 
Him man. (Appears) in the desert, not in a temple. See how many miracles are taking place, 
and no word of Temple, no word of Sacrifice. And here also not simply in the desert, but 
in the bush. “When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold 
it, the voice of the Lord came unto him.” (v. 31.) Lo! he was deemed worthy of the Voice 
also. “I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God 
of Jacob.” (v. 32, 33.) Lo! how He shows that He is none other than “the God of Abraham, 

and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” — He, “the Angel of the Great Counsel.” (Is. ix. 
6. LXX. “Wonderful, Counsellor,” E.V.) Here he shows what great loving-kindness God 
herein exhibits. “Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold. Then said the Lord to him, 
Put off thy shoes from thy feet; for the place where thou standest is holy ground.” Not a 
word of Temple, and the place is holy through the appearance and operation of Christ. Far 
more wonderful this than the place which is in the Holy of Holies: for there God is nowhere 
said to have appeared in this manner, nor Moses to have thus trembled. And then the 
greatness of His tender care. “I have seen, I have seen the affliction of My people which is 


378 ecp’ eaurou, B. C. F. D. N. but A. E. Edd. eiti toutou “in the case of this man.” So perhaps CEcumen. 
eitteiKCoq vuv tu> aStKoOvn Ttpoacpeperat. — Below, E. Edd. “With the same spirit they appear to say the same 
with reference to Christ, ‘We have no king but Caesar.’ Thus was it ever habitual to the Jews to act, even when 
receiving benefits. Do you mark their madness? Him who was to save them, they accuse, by saying, ‘As thou,’” 
etc. 

379 So A. B. N. Cat. (in C. the sentence v l5ou — ’laKtb(3 is omitted by an oversight caused by the homoeoteleuton 
’laKcl>(3.) Edd. “Not only does he here show that the Angel which appeared unto him was the Angel of the Great 
Counsel, but he shows also what loving-kindness God exhibits by this manifestation.” 


195 


Homily XVI on Acts vii. 6, 7 . 


in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now 
come, I will send thee into Egypt.” (v. 34.) See, how he shows, that both by kindnesses, and 
by chastisements, and by miracles, God was drawing them to Him: but they were still the 
same. That God is everywhere present, they learned. 

Hearing these things, let us in our afflictions flee to Him. “And their groaning,” saith 
He, “I have heard:” not simply, “because of their calamities.” But if any should ask, Why 
then did He suffer them to be evil entreated there? Why, in the first place, to every just man 
his sufferings are the causes of his rewards. And in the next place, as to why He afflicted 
them: it was to show His power, that He can (do all), and not only so, but that He may also 
train them. Observe in fact; when they were in the desert, then they “waxed fat, they grew 
thick, they spread out in breadth, they kicked” (Deut. xxxii. 15): and ever and always ease 
was an evil. Therefore also from the beginning He said to Adam: “In the sweat of thy face 

on 1 

thou shall eat thy bread.” (Gen. iii. 19.) Also (it was) in order that having come out of 
much suffering into rest, they might give thanks to God. For affliction is a great good. For 
hear the Prophet saying, “It is good for me, that Thou hast humbled me.” (Ps. cxix. 71.) But 
if to great and wonderful men affliction be a great (good), much more to us. And, if you 
will, let us examine into the nature of affliction as it is in itself. Let there be some person 
rejoicing exceedingly, and gay, and giving a loose to jollity: what more unseemly, what more 
senseless than this? Let there be one sorrowing and dejected: what more truly philosophic 
than this? For, “It is better,” we read, “to go into the house of mourning, than into the house 

O QO 

of laughter.” (Eccles. vii. 2.) But, likely enough, you do not like the saying, and want to 
evade it. Let us however see, what sort of man Adam was in Paradise, and what he was after- 
wards: what sort of man Cain was before, and what he was afterwards. The soul does not 
stand fast in its proper place, but, like as by a running tide, (peuparoq, Edd. nvsuparoc;, 
“wind”) is raised and buoyed up by pleasure, having no steadfastness; facile in making pro- 
fessions, prompt at promising; the thoughts all in restless commotion: laughter ill-timed, 
causeless hilarity, idle clatter of unmeaning talk. And why speak of others? Let us take in 
hand some one of the saints, and let us see what he was while in pleasure, what again, when 
in distress. Shall we look at David himself? When he was in pleasure and rejoicing, from his 
many trophies, from his victory, from his crowns, from his luxurious living, from his con- 


380 i.e. “I have heard their groaning:” not simply (“I have come down) because of their calamities.” The ex- 
pression, “I have heard” denotes His ready sympathy. — But the modern text: “He does not simply say, ‘I have 
heard;’ but because of their calamities.” 

381 Edd. from E. “Therefore in order that having come out of much affliction into rest, they may not be insolent, 
he permits them to be afflicted.” 

382 5taKpou£a0£ ra Aeyopeva. Edd 5iapu>Kaa0£, “make a mock at.” — Below all the mss. agree in oioc; f|v 6 
Katv Ttpo rourou. Either the text is corrupt, or something is needed for explanation. 


196 


Homily XVI on Acts vii. 6, 7 . 


fidence, see what sort of things he said and did: “But I said in my prosperity,” says he, “I 
shall never be moved.” (Ps. xxx. 6.) But when he has come to be in affliction, hear what he 
says: “And if He say to me, I have no mind for thee; lo! here am I, let Him do that which is 
pleasing in His sight.” (2 Sam. xv. 26.) What can be more truly philosophic than these words? 
“Whatsoever may be pleasing to God,” saith he, “so let it be.” And again he said to Saul: “If 
the Lord stirreth thee up against me, may thy sacrifice be acceptable.” (1 Sam.xxvi. 19.) And 
then too, being in affliction, he spared even his enemies: but afterwards, not friends even, 
nor those who had done him no injury. Again, Jacob when he was in affliction, said: “If the 
Lord will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on.” (Gen. xxviii. 20.) As also the son of 
Noah did nothing of the kind erewhile; but when he was no longer afraid for his safety, you 
hear how wanton he became, (ib. ix. 22.) Hezekiah too, when he was in affliction, see what 
things he did in order to his deliverance; he put on sackcloth, and such like; but when he 
was in pleasure, he fell through the haughtiness of his heart. (2 Kings ch. xix. 20.) For, saith 
the Scripture, “When thou hast eaten, and drunk, and art filled, take heed to thyself.” (Deut. 
vi. 11, 12.) For perilous, as on a precipice’s brink, is the post of affluence. “Take heed,” saith 
he, “to thyself.” When the Israelites were afflicted, they became all the more increased in 
number: but when He left them to themselves, then they all went to ruin. And why speak 
of examples from the ancients? In our own times, let us see, if you please, is it not the case, 
that when the most are in good case, they become puffed up, hostile to everybody, passionate, 
while the power is with them: but if it be taken away, they are gentle, lowly (and as) human 
beings, are brought to a consciousness of their own natural condition. Therefore the Scripture 
saith, “Pride hath holden them unto the end: their iniquity shall go forth as from fatness.” 
(Ps. lxxiii. 6. LXX.) 

Now these things I have spoken, that we should not make enjoyment every way our 
object. How then does Paul say, “Rejoice alway?” He does not say simply, “Rejoice,” but he 
adds, “in the Lord.” (Phil. iv. 4.) This is the greatest joy, such as the Apostles rejoiced withal; 
the joy of which prisons, and scourges, and persecutions, and evil report, and all painful 
things, are the source, and the root, and the occasion; whence also it comes to a happy issue. 
But that of the world, on the contrary, begins with sweets and ends in bitters. Neither do I 
forbid to rejoice in the Lord, nay, I earnestly exhort to this. The Apostles were scourged, 
and they rejoiced: were bound, and they gave thanks: were stoned, and they preached. This 
is the joy I also would have: from nothing bodily has it its origin, but from spiritual things. 
It is not possible for him who joys after the fashion of the world, to rejoice also after a godly 
sort: for every one who joys after the world’s fashion, has his joy in riches, in luxury, in 
honor, in power, in arrogance: but he who rejoices after the mind of God, has his joy in 
dishonor for God’s sake, in poverty, in want, in fasting, in humbleness of mind. Seest thou, 
how opposite are the grounds (of joy)? To go without joy here, is to be without grief also: 
and to be without grief here, is to go without pleasure too. And in truth these are the things 


197 


Homily XVI on Acts vii. 6, 7 . 


which produce real joy, since the others have the name only of joy, but they altogether 
consist of pain. What misery the arrogant man endures! How is he cut short (SiaKOUXsrai) 
in the midst of his arrogance, bespeaking for himself numberless insults, much hatred, great 
enmity, exceeding spite, and many an evil eye! Whether it be that he is insulted by greater 
men, he grieves: or that he cannot make his stand against everybody, he is mortified. 
Whereas the humble man lives in much enjoyment: expecting honor from none, if he receive 
honor, he is pleased, but if not, he is not grieved. He takes it contentedly that he is honored; 

o o o 

but above all, none dishonors him. Now not to seek honor, and yet to be honored — great 
must be the enjoyment of this. But in the other, it is just the reverse: he seeks honor, and is 
not honored. And the pleasure that the honor gives is not the same to him who seeks it, as 
it is to him who seeks it not. The one, however much he receives, thinks he has received 
nothing: the other, though you give him ever so little, takes it as though he had received all. 
Then again, he who lives in affluence and luxury has numberless affairs of business, and let 
his revenues flow in to him ever so easily, and, as it were, from full fountains, yet he fears 
the evils arising from luxurious living, and the uncertainty of the future: but the other is al- 
ways in a state of security and enjoyment, having accustomed himself to scantiness of diet. 
For he does not so bemoan himself at not partaking of a sumptuous board, as he luxuriates 
in not fearing the uncertainty of the future. But the evils arising from luxurious living, how 
many and great they are, none can be ignorant: it is necessary, however, to mention them 
now. Twofold the war, in the body, and in the soul: twofold the storm: twofold the diseases; 
not only in this respect, but because they are both incurable, and bring with them great 
calamities. Not so, frugality: but here is twofold health, twofold the benefits. “Sleep of health,” 
we read, “is in moderate eating.” (Ecclus. xxxi. 20.) For everywhere, that which keeps 
measure is pleasant, that which is beyond measure, ceases to please. For say now: on a little 
spark put a great pile of fagots, and you will no longer see the fire shining, but much dis- 
agreeable smoke. On a very strong and large man lay a burden which exceeds his strength, 
and you will see him with his burden lying prostrate on the ground. Embark too large a 
freight in your vessel, and you have ensured a grievous shipwreck. Just so it is here. For just 
as in overladen ships, great is the tumult of the sailors, the pilot, the man at the prow, and 
the passengers, while they cast into the sea the things above deck, and things below; so here 
too, with their vomitings upwards, and their purgings downwards, they mar their constitu- 
tions, and destroy themselves. And what is the most shameful of all, the mouth is made to 


383 jidAiara 5e ou5ei<; aurov dupaijei. Savile justly retains this sentence from the old text. Montf. rejects it, 
as superfluous, and disturbing the sense. Downe ap. Sav. proposes on ouk f|npaa0r|: “ non ambit honorem, sed 
bene secum actum putat si nulla affectus sit ignominia.” But in the old text there is no aXXa before dyocTta: and 
the meaning is not, “he thinks himself well off,” etc., nor as Ben., “he rejoices that,” etc., but, “he is content not 
to be honored; knowing this at any rate, that nobody can dishonor him.” 


198 


Homily XVI on Acts vii. 6, 7. 


do the office of the nether parts, and that becomes the more shameful member. But if to the 
mouth the disgrace be such, think what must it be in the soul! For indeed there it is all mist, 
all storm, all darkness, great the uproar of the thoughts, at being so thronged and crushed, 
the soul itself crying out at the abuse done to it: all (the parts and faculties) complaining 
of one another, beseeching, entreating, that the filth may be discharged somewhere. And 
after it is flung out, still the turmoil is not at an end; but then comes fever and diseases. “And 
how comes it,” say you, “that one may see these luxurious livers, in goodly plight, riding on 
horseback? What idle talk is this,” say you, “to tell us of diseases? It is I that am diseased, I 
that am racked, I that am disgusting, while I have nothing to eat.” Ah me! for one may well 
lament at such words. But the sufferers with the gout, the men that are carried on litters, 
the men that are swathed with bandages, from what class of people, I ask you, shall we see 
these? And indeed, were it not that they would deem it an insult, and think my words op- 
probrious, I would before now have addressed them even by name. “But there are some of 
them, who are in good health as well.” Because they give themselves not merely to luxurious 
living, but also to labors. Else show me a man, who does nothing whatever but fatten himself, 
free from pain as he lies there, without an anxious thought. For though a host of physicians 
without number came together, they would not be able to rescue him from his diseases. It 
is not in the nature of things. For I will hold you a medical discourse. Of the matters sent 
down into the belly, not all becomes nourishment; since even in the food itself, not all is 
nutritive, but part of it in the process of digestion passes into stool, part is turned into 
nourishment. If then in the process of digestion the operation is perfect, this is the result, 
and each finds its proper place; the wholesome and useful part betakes itself to its appropriate 
place, while that which is superfluous and useless, withdraws itself, and passes off. But if it 
be in too great quantity, then even the nutritive part of it becomes hurtful. And, to speak 
by way of example, in order that my meaning may be clearer to you: in wheat part is fine 
flour, part meal, part bran: now if the mill be able to grind (what is put in), it separates all 
these: but if you put in too much, all becomes mixed up together. Wine again, if it go through 
its proper process of formation, and under due influence of the seasons, then, whereas at 
first all is mixed together, anon part settles into lees, part rises into scum, part remains for 
enjoyment to those that use it, and this is the good part, and will not readily undergo any 
change. But what they call “nourishment,” is neither wine, nor lees, while all are mixed up 


384 E. Edd. “Thence also the gormandizers (yaarptijopevoi) themselves complain of one another, are in ill 
humor, haste to be rid of the filth within. Still, even after it is cast out,” etc. And below: — “fever and diseases. 
‘Yes,’ say you, ‘they are sick and are disgusting; it is waste of words to tell us all this, and make a catalogue of 
diseases: for it is I that am diseased, etc,. . .while these luxurious livers one may see in good plight, sleek, merry, 
riding on horseback.’” 


199 



Homily XVI on Acts vii. 6, 7 . 


•3 o c 

together. — The same may be seen in the river, when its waters make a whirling flood. As 

at such time we see the fishes floating at top, dead, their eyes first blinded by the muddy 
slime: so is it with us. For when gormandizing, like a flood of rain, has drenched the inward 
parts, it puts all in a whirl, and makes that the faculties (Aoyiopoi), healthy till then and 
living in a pure element, drift lifeless on the surface. Since then by all these examples we 
have shown how great the mischief is, let us cease to count these men happy for that, for 
which we ought to think them wretched, and to bemoan ourselves for that, for which we 
ought to count ourselves happy, and let us welcome sufficiency with a contented mind. Or 
do you not hear even what physicians tell you, that “want is the mother of health?” But what 
I say is, that want is mother, not of bodily health, but also of that of the soul. These things 
Paul also, that physician indeed, cries aloud; when he says, “Having food and raiment, let 
us therewith be content.” (1 Tim. vi. 8.) Let us therefore do as he bids us, that so, being in 
sound health, we may perform the work that we ought to do, in Christ Jesus our Lord, with 
Whom to the Father and the Holy Ghost together be glory, dominion, honor, now and ever, 
world without end. Amen. 


385 Edd. from E. “in the sea, under a violent storm in winter,” and below, “the fishes floating at top, dead, 
which by reason of the cold had not power to sink to the bottom.” 


200 


Homily XVII on Acts vii. 35. 


Homily XVII. 

Acts VII. 35 

“This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? the same 
did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the Angel which appeared to 
him in the bush.” 

This is very suitable to the matter in hand. “This Moses,” he says. “This,” the man who 
had been in danger of losing his life; the man who had been set at naught by them; “this” 
the man whom they had declined: “this” same, God having raised up, sent unto them. 
“Whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler?” just as they themselves (the hearers) 
said, “We have no king, but Caesar.” (John xix. 15.) He here shows also, that what was then 
done, was done by Christ. “The same did God send by the hand of the Angel,” who said 
unto him, “I am the God of Abraham.” “This” same Moses, he says, — and observe how he 
points to his renown — “this” same Moses, he says, “brought them out, after that he had 
showed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness 
forty years. This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the 
Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me” (v. 36, 37): set at naught 
like me. Him, likewise, Herod wished to kill, and in Egypt He found preservation just as it 
was with the former, even when He was a babe, He was aimed at for destruction. “This is 
he, that was in the Church in the wilderness with the Angel which spake to him in the mount 
Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us.” (v. 38.) Again 
no mention of temple, none of sacrifice. “With the Angel,” it says, “he received the lively 
oracles to give unto the fathers.” It shows, that he not only wrought miracles, but also gave 
a law, as Christ did. Just as Christ first works miracles, and then legislates: so did Moses. 
But they did not hear him, keeping their disobedience, even after the miracles: “To whom,” 
he says, “our fathers would not obey:” (v. 39) after the wonders done in those forty years. 
And not only so, but just the contrary: “but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned 
back again into Egypt. Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us; for as for this 
Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And 
they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works 
of their own hands. Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as 
it is written in the book of the Prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain 
beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness? Yea, ye took up the taber- 
nacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: 
and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.” (v. 40, 43.) The expression, “gave them up,” 
means, He suffered. “Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had 
appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion he had 


201 


Homily XVII on Acts vii. 35. 


seen.” (v. 44.) Even when there was a Tabernacle, yet there were no sacrifices. “Did ye offer 
unto Me slain beasts and sacrifices?” (Amos v. 25.) There was “the tabernacle of witness,” 
and yet it profited them nothing, but they were consumed. But neither before, nor afterwards, 
did the miracles profit them aught. “Which also, our fathers that came after brought in.” 
Seest thou, how the holy place is there wherever God may be? For to this end also he says, 
“in the wilderness,” to compare place with place. Then the benefit (conferred upon them): 
And our fathers that came after brought it in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, 
whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David; who found favor 
before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob, (v. 45, 46.) David “desired 
to find favor:” and he builded not, he, the wonderful, the great; but the castaway, Solomon. 
“But Solomon,” it says, “built Him an house. Howbeit the Most High dwelleth not in (places) 
made with hands.” (v. 47-50.) This was shown indeed already by what had been before said: 
but it is shown also by the voice of a prophet; “What house will ye build for Me? saith the 
Lord God. As saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house 
will ye build for me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made 
all these things?” (Is. lxvi. 1, 2.) 

Marvel not, he says, if they on whom Christ confers His benefits refuse His kingdom, 
seeing in the case of Moses it was just the same. (Recapitulation). “He brought them out;” 
and rescued them not in a general way, but also while they were in the wilderness. W onders 
and signs,” etc. (v. 35-50.) Do you mark that they themselves (Stephen’s hearers) are con- 
cerned in those old miracles also? “This is that Moses:” (v. 37) he, that conversed with God; 
he, that had been saved out of situations so strange and wonderful; he, that wrought so great 
works, and had so great power. [“Which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet,” etc.] 
He shows, that the prophecy must by all means be fulfilled, and that Moses is not opposed 

o o/r 

to Him. “This is he that was in the Church in the wilderness, and, that said unto the 
children of Israel.” (v. 38.) Do you mark that thence comes the root, and that “salvation is 
from the Jews?” (John iv. 22.) “With the Angel,” it says, “which spake unto him.” (Rom. xi. 
16.) Lo, again he affirms that it was He (Christ) that gave the Law, seeing Moses was with 

107 

“Him” in the Church in the wilderness. And here he puts them in mind of a great marvel, 

386 Here the innovator, not perceiving that the renewed exposition began above, inserts the formula ’A\\' 
iSwpsv avw0ev ra eipripeva, and then has: “This, it says, is Moses, which said, A Prophet, etc. To this, I suppose, 
Christ refers, when He says, ‘Salvation is of the Jews,’ hinting at Himself. This is he that was in the wilderness, 
with the Angel that spake unto him. Lo, again he shows, that it was He,” etc. So Edd. 

387 The meaning of v. 38 is that Moses became (yevopevoc;) a mediator between God (represented by the 
Angel) and the people. Cf. Gal. iii. 19 where the law is said to have been “ordained through angels, by the hand 
of a mediator” (Moses). No mention is made of angels as revealers of the law in Exodus xix. the first mention 
of angels in connection with the giving of the law being in a highly poetic passage in Moses’ benediction, Deut. 
xxxiii. 2. (Even here the Heb. text is uncertain. Cf. the lxx. in loco). The function of angels in the giving of the 


202 


Homily XVII on Acts vii. 35. 


of the things done in the Mount: “Who received living oracles to give unto us.” On all occa- 
sions Moses is wonderful, and (so) when need was to legislate. What means the expression, 

“Living oracles” (Adyta)? Those, whereof the end was shown by words (5ia Aoyojv): in 

'20 0 

other words, he means the prophecies. Then follows the charge, in the first instance, 
against the patriarchs [after] , the “signs and wonders,” after the receiving of the “lively oracles: 
To whom,” he says, “our fathers would not obey.” (v. 39.) But concerning those, Ezekiel 
says that they are not “living;” as when he says, “And I gave you statutes that are not good.” 
(Ezek. xx. 25.) It is with reference to those that he says, “Living. But thrust him from them, 
and in their hearts turned back to Egypt” — the place where they groaned, where they cried, 
whence they called upon God. “And said unto Aaron, Make us gods which shall go before 
us.” (v. 40.) O the folly! “Make,” say they; “that they may go before us.” Whither? “Into 

OOQ 

Egypt.” See how hard they were to tear away from the customs of Egypt! What sayest 
thou? What, not wait for him that brought thee out, but flee the benefit, and deny the Bene- 
factor? And mark how insulting they are: “For as for this Moses,” they say: — “which brought 
us out of the land of Egypt” nowhere the name of God: instead of that, they ascribed all to 
Moses. Where 390 they ought to give thanks (to God), they bring Moses forward: where it 
was, to do as the Law bade them, they no longer make account of Moses. “We know not 
what is become of him.” And yet he told them that he was going up to receive the Law: and 

OQ1 

they had not patience to wait forty days. “Make us gods” — they did not say, “a God.” — And 

law has a prominent place in later Jewish theology as opposed to the action of mere human ministers. The New 
Testament notices on the subject reflect this later phase of thought (Cf. Acts vii. 53; Heb. ii. 2). See Lightfoot on 
Gal. ii. 19. — G.B.S. 

388 By Adyta ijtovra are meant living oracles in the sense of operative, effectual, as Jesus affirmed his words 
to be “spirit and life” (John vi. 63). They contain vital truth. The law was indeed “weak” (Rom. viii. 3) but it was 
so “through the flesh,” i.e. human sinfulness. It was not inherently weak but was so relatively to the great power 
of sin in man which needed to be overcome. — G.B.S. 

389 It is not probable that this passage (v. 39, 40) means that the people proposed to return to Egypt (as 
Chrys.). In the O.T. the constant representation is that the golden calf (or bull) was worshipped as the image of 
the divinity who had led them out of Egypt (Ex. xxxii. 4; 1 Kings xii. 28). It seems clearly implied in Ezek. xx. 7, 
8, 24, that the Israelites while in Egypt had been much addicted to the idolatry of the country. The meaning here 
is that, being discouraged and disappointed on account of Moses’ continued absence in the mount, they were 
ready to transfer their allegiance from Jehovah to some of the divinities to whose worship they had previously 
been accustomed. The worship of cattle was especially common, as of Apis at Memphis and Mnevis at Heliopol- 
is. — G.B.S. 

390 ”Ev0a pev euxaptarelv e5ei, A, B, C. D. F., but N. and Cat. axapiarelv. — E. Kal evcpa p£v auroui; axaptarav 
f[v. Edd. eux- 

391 This clause, omitted by A. B. C , is preserved by N. and the Catena. The calf was one, yet they called it 
Gods: on which St. Chrys. remarks elsewhere, that they added polytheism to idolatry. — The next sentence may 

203 


Homily XVII on Acts vii. 35. 


yet one may well wonder at this, that they do not even know. — “And they made a calf in 
those days, and offered sacrifices unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands” 
(v. 41): for which they ought to have hid their faces. What wonder that ye know not Christ, 
seeing ye knew not Moses, and God Who was manifested by such wonders? But they not 
only knew Him not: they also insulted in another way, by their idol making. “Then God 
turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven” (v. 42.) Hence these same “customs” 
date their origin, hence the sacrifices: they were themselves the first that made sacrifices to 
their idols! For that is why it is marked, “They made a calf in Horeb, and offered sacrifices 
to the idol:” seeing that, before this the name of sacrifice is nowhere mentioned, but only 


perhaps be completed thus: “that they did not even know that there is One God.” — Edd. from E.F.D. “So frantic 
are they, that they know not what they say.” 

392 5ta yap touto emaqpalveTai. The meaning is: Stephen was accused of speaking against “the customs,” — sac- 
rifices, temple, feasts, etc. Therefore he significantly points to that critical conjuncture from which these “customs” 
date their introduction: namely, the Provocation at Horeb. Prior to that, he tells of “living oracles,” life-giving 
precepts: after it, and as its consequence, sacrifices, etc., those statutes which were not good, and ordinances by 
which a man shall not live, as God says by Ezekiel. Not a word of sacrifice till then: and the first mention is, of 
the sacrifices offered to the calf. In like manner, “they rejoiced,” “the people ate and drank, and rose up to play:” 
and in consequence of this, the feasts were prescribed: Kod eucppalvovro, tpqafv 5ta touto Kat 
eopTal. — ’ETtiaqpalveTai might be rendered, “he marks,” “puts a mark upon it” (so the innovator, who substitutes, 
touto Kat AautS emaqpaivopevoc; Aeyet): we take it passively, “there is a mark set over it — it is emphatically 
denoted.” In the active, the verb taken intransitively means “to betoken or announce itself,” “make its first ap- 
pearance.” — In the Treatise adv. Judceos, iv. §6. tom. i. 624. C. St. Chrysostom gives this account of the legal 
sacrifices: “To what purpose unto Me is the multitude of your sacrifices? etc. (Isaiah i. 11, ff.) Do ye hear how 
it is most plainly declared, that God did not from the first require these at your hands? Had He required them, 
He would have obliged those famous saints who were before the Law to observe this practice. ‘Then wherefore 
has He permitted it now?’ In condescension to your infirmity. As a physician in his treatment of a delirious patient, 
etc.: thus did God likewise. For seeing them so frantic in their lust for sacrifices, that they were ready, unless 
they got them, to desert to idols: nay not only ready, but that they had already deserted, thereupon He permitted 
sacrifices. And that this is the reason, is clear from the order of events. After the feast which they made to the 
demons, then it was that He permitted sacrifices: all but saying: ‘Ye are mad, and will needs sacrifice: well then, 
at any rate sacrifice to Me.”’ — (What follows may serve to illustrate the brief remark a little further on, Kat f| 
alxpaA-Wala KaTqyopH Tfjq KaKtaq.) “But even this, He did not permit to continue to the end, but by a most 
wise method, withdrew them from it. . .For He did not permit it to be done in any place of the whole world, but 
in Jerusalem only. Anon, when for a short time they had sacrificed, he destroyed the city. Had He openly said, 
Desist, they, such was their insane passion for sacrificing, would not readily have complied. But now perforce, 
the place being taken away, He secretly withdrew them from their frenzy. ” So here: “Even the captivity impeaches 
the wickedness (which was the cause of the permission of sacrifice.”) 


204 


Homily XVII on Acts vii. 35. 


lively ordinances, and “lively oracles. And rejoiced” — that is the reason for the feasts. (Exod. 
xxxii. 5, 6.) “As it is written in the Book of the Prophets” — and observe, he does not cite the 
text without a purpose, but shows by it that there is no need of sacrifices; saying: “Did ye 
offer slain beasts and sacrifice to Me?” — He lays an emphasis on this word (to Me?). “Ye 
cannot say that it was from sacrificing to Me, that ye proceeded to sacrifice to them: — “by 
the space of forty years:” and this too, “in the wilderness,” where He had most signally shown 
Himself their Protector. “Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god 
Remphan: images which ye made to worship them.” The cause of sacrifices! “And I will 
carry you away beyond Babylon.” (v. 43.) Even the captivity, an impeachment of their 
wickedness! “But a Tabernacle,” say you, “there was (the Tabernacle) ‘of Witness.’” (v. 44.) 
(Yes,) this is why it was: that they should have God for Witness: this was all. “According to 
the fashion,” it says, “that was shown thee on the mount:” so 394 that on the mount was the 
Original. And this Tabernacle, moreover, “in the wilderness,” was carried about, and not 
locally fixed. And he calls it, “Tabernacle of witness:” i.e. (for witness) of the miracles, of 

o q r 

the statutes. This is the reason why both it and those (the fathers) had no Temple. “As 
He had appointed, that spake unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion 
that he had seen.” Again, it was none other than He (Christ) that gave the fashion itself. 
“Until the days of David” (v. 45): and there was no temple! And yet the Gentiles also had 


393 Our passage here follows the hex. which speaks of Moloch and Remphan. The terms in the original (vid. 
R.V.: Amos v. 25-27) are “Siccuth” and “Chiun.” It is a disputed point whether these are in the prophecy names 
of divinities or whether they mean respectively “tabernacle” and “shrine” (or image). The difficulty lies in the 

ambiguity of the Hebrew text. The name Moloch being akin to the Hebrew word for king ("ItQ), confusion 
might easily arise. The N.T. text varies from the lxx. only in adding the word TcpoaKuveiv (43) to lay emphasis 
upon the charge of idolatry, and in replacing Damascus by Babylon (43), an interpretation from the standpoint 
of subsequent history. The statement of our text that the Israelites fell into the worship of these divinities in the 
wilderness rests upon extra-Pentateuchal tradition, derived, perhaps, from such prohibitions of Moloch- worship 
and similar idolatries as are found in Lev. xviii. 21, and Deut. xviii. 10. The charge in the prophecy of Amos is 
a general one referring to the frequent lapses of the people into image-worship down to his own time. — G.B.S. 

394 ware ev rw opet q UTtOYpatpq yiyove. In the following sentences, there are numerous variations in Edd. 
from the old text, but they do not materially affect the sense, and certainly do not improve it. 

395 The expression here used — f| avcqvf] rou papruptou is the constant but inexact lxx. translation of 

‘tent of meeting” — i.e. the tent where God met the people. From a misunderstanding of the etymology 

of (it being taken from Hll? to witness, instead of from ""II?" 1 to assemble) it was translated by paptuplov — a 

rendering which has occasioned frequent misunderstanding. Mapruptov is rightly used in the lxx. to render 
mis; (from "HU) in Exod. xxv. 22; Num. ix. 15. — G.B.S. 


205 


Homily XVII on Acts vii. 35. 


been driven out: for that is why he mentions this: “Whom God drave out,” he says, “before 
the face of our fathers. Whom He drave out,” he says: and even then, no Temple! And so 
many wonders, and no mention of a Temple! So that, although first there is a Tabernacle, 
yet nowhere a Temple. “Until the days of David,” he says: even David, and no Temple! “And 
he sought to find favor before God” (v. 46): and built not: — so far was the Temple from being 
a great matter! “But Solomon built Him an house.” (v. 47.) They thought Solomon was great: 
but that he was not better than his father, nay not even equal to him, is manifest. “Howbeit 
the Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is 
My throne, and earth is My footstool.” (v. 48, 49.) Nay, not even these are worthy of God, 
forasmuch as they are made, seeing they are creatures, the works of His hand. See how he 
leads them on by little and little (showing) that not even these are to be mentioned. And 
again the prophecy says openly, “What house will ye build Me?” etc. (v. 50.) 

What is the reason that at this point he speaks in the tone of invective (KCtracpopiKtoc;)? 
Great was his boldness of speech, when at the point to die: for in fact I think he knew that 
this was the case. “Ye stiffnecked,” he says, “and uncircumcised in heart and ears.” This also 
is from the prophets: nothing is of himself. “Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your 
fathers did, so do ye.” (v. 51.) When it was not His will that sacrifices should be, ye sacrifice: 
when it is His will, then again ye do not sacrifice: when He would not give you command- 
ments, ye drew them to you: when ye got them, ye neglected them. Again, when the Temple 
stood, ye worshipped idols: when it is His will to be worshipped without a Temple, ye do 
the opposite. Observe, he says not, “Ye resist God,” but, “the Spirit:” so far was he from 
knowing any difference between Them. And, what is greater: “As your fathers did,” he says, 
“so do ye.” Thus also did Christ (reproach them), forasmuch as they were always boasting 
much of their fathers. “Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they 
have slain them which showed before of the coming of the Just One:” he still says, “the Just 
One,” wishing to check them: “of Whom ye have been now the betrayers and murder- 
ers” — two charges he lays against them — “who have received the Law by the disposition 
of Angels, and have not kept it.” (v. 52.) How, “By the disposition of Angels?” Some say 
(The Law), disposed by Angels; or, put into his hand by the Angel Who appeared to him in 
the bush; for was He man? No wonder that He who wrought those works, should also 


396 E. F. D. Edd. add, “that they knew (Him) not, and that they murdered (Him):” but the meaning is, that 
they betrayed, and that they murdered: or, as below, Their fathers slew the Prophets, and they, Him Whom they 
preached. 

397 rov EKEtva Ttonjaavra, A. B. C. N. Cat. i.e. that Christ, Who, as the Angel, did those works, etc. The 
modern text roue; ek. Ttonjaavrac;: that those who did those wickednesses, etc.: and so CEc. seems to have taken 
it: “If ye killed them who preached Him to come, no wonder that ye kill Me,” etc. — Below, for Ol rotvuv 
dvrutoiouvrai rou vopou, teat eAcyov, A. B. N. (N. corrected ourot vuv) have Ou rotvuv k. t. X. and A. Aiyovret;: 
“Therefore they claim not the Law (on their side), saying,” etc. 


206 


Homily XVII on Acts vii. 35. 


OQO 

have wrought these. “Ye slew them who preached of Him,” much more Himself. He 
shows them disobedient both to God, and to Angels, and the Prophets, and the Spirit, and 
to all: as also Scripture saith elsewhere: “Lord, they have slain Thy Prophets, and thrown 
down Thine altars.” (1 Kings xix. 10.) They, then, stand up for the Law, and say, “He blas- 
phemeth against Moses:” he shows, therefore, that it is they who blaspheme, and that (their 
blasphemy is not only against Moses, but) against God; shows that “they” from the very 
beginning have been doing this: that “they” have themselves destroyed their “customs,” that 
there is no need of these: that while accusing him, and saying that he opposed Moses, they 
themselves were opposing the Spirit: and not merely opposing, but with murder added to 
it: and that they had their enmity all along from the very beginning. Seest thou, that he shows 
them to be acting in opposition both to Moses and to all others, and not keeping the Law? 
And yet Moses had said, “A Prophet shall the Lord raise up unto you: and the rest also told 
of this (Christ) that He would come: and the prophet again said, “What house will ye build 
Me?” and again, “Did ye offer to Me slain beasts and sacrifices” those “forty years?” (Deut. 
xviii. 18.) 

Such is the boldness of speech of a man bearing the Cross. Let us then also imitate this: 
though it be not a time of war, yet it is always the time for boldness of speech. For, “I spake,” 
says one, “in Thy testimonies before kings, and was not ashamed.” (Ps. cxix. 46.) If we chance 
to be among heathens, let us thus stop their mouths, without wrath, without harshness. 
(Comp. Horn, in 1 Cor. iv. §6; xxxiii. §4, 5; Col. xi. §2.) For if we do it with wrath, it no 
longer seems to be the boldness (of one who is confident of his cause,) but passion: but if 
with gentleness, this is boldness indeed. For 399 in one and the same thing success and failure 
cannot possibly go together. The boldness is a success: the anger is a failure. Therefore, if 
we are to have boldness, we must be clean from wrath that none may impute our words to 
that. No matter how just your words may be, when you speak with anger, you ruin all: no 
matter how boldly you speak, how fairly reprove, or what not. See this man, how free from 
passion as he discourses to them! For he did not abuse them: he did but remind them of the 
words of the Prophets. For, to show you that it was not anger, at the very moment he was 
suffering evil at their hands, he prayed, saying, “Lay not to their charge this sin.” So far was 
he from speaking these words in anger; no, he spake in grief and sorrow for their sakes. As 
indeed this is why it speaks of his appearance, that “they saw his face as it had been the face 
of an angel,” on purpose that they might believe. Let us then be clean from wrath. The Holy 


398 'AyyeXi ov (53) cannot refer (as Chrys.) to the Jehovah-angel of the bush. It refers to angels as the mediators 
in the giving of the law, an idea which appears in the lxx., the N.T. elsewhere (Gal. iii. 19; Heb. ii. 2) and is 
prominent in later Jewish theology (Cf. Josephus, Ant. XV. v. 3) Vid. note p. 107. — G.B.S. 

399 Ou yap Suvarat opou Kai Kara raurov (xar aurov A. C. and N. originally) Kai xaropStopa eivou Kai 
eMrctopa. 'H Ttappijala, xaropOwpa- 6 0upo<;, eMrrtopa. 


207 


Homily XVII on Acts vii. 35. 


Spirit dwelleth not where wrath is: cursed is the wrathful. It cannot be that aught wholesome 
should approach, where wrath goes forth. For as in a storm at sea, great is the tumult, loud 
the clamor, and then would be no time for lessons of wisdom (cpiAooocpeiv): so neither in 
wrath. If the soul is to be in a condition either to say, or to be disciplined to, aught of 
philosophy, it must first be in the haven. Seest thou not how, when we wish to converse on 
matters of serious import, we look out for places free from noise, where all is stillness, all 
calm, that we may not be put out and discomposed? But if noise from without discomposes, 
much more disturbance from within. Whether one pray, to no purpose does he pray “with 
wrath and disputings:” (1 Tim. ii. 8) whether he speak, he will only make himself ridiculous: 
whether he hold his peace, so again it will be even then: whether he eat, he is hurt even then: 
whether he drink, or whether he drink not; whether he sit, or stand, or walk; whether he 
sleep: for even in their dreams such fancies haunt them. For what is there in such men that 
is not disagreeable? Eyes unsightly, mouth distorted, limbs agitated and swollen, tongue 
foul and sparing no man, mind distraught, gestures uncomely: much to disgust. Mark the 
eyes of demoniacs, and those of drunkards and madmen; in what do they differ from each 
other? Is not the whole madness? For what though it be but for the moment? The madman 
too is possessed for the moment: but what is worse than this? And they are not ashamed at 
that excuse; “I knew not (saith one) what I said.” And how came it that thou didst not know 
this, thou the rational man, thou that hast the gift of reason, on purpose that thou mayest 
not act the part of the creatures without reason, just like a wild horse, hurried away by rage 
and passion? In truth, the very excuse is criminal. For thou oughtest to have known what 
thou saidst. “It was the passion,” say you, “that spoke the words, not I.” How should it be 
that? For passion has no power, except it get it from you. You might as well say, “It was my 
hand that inflicted the wounds, not I.” What occasion, think you, most needs wrath? would 
you not say, war and battle? But even then, if anything is done with wrath, the whole is 
spoiled and undone. For of all men, those who fight had best not be enraged: of all men, 
those had best not be enraged, who want to hurt (rouq uPpi^ovrac;). And how is it possible 
to fight then? you will ask. With reason, with self-command (£TU£iK£i& 139 - ): since fighting 
is, to stand in opposition. Seest thou not that even these (common) wars are regulated by 
definite law, and order, and times? For wrath is nothing but an irrational impulse: and an 
irrational creature cannot possibly perform aught rational. For instance, the man here spoke 
such words, and did it without passion. And Elias said,” How long will ye halt on both your 
knees?” (1 Kings xviii. 21) and spake it not in passion. And Phinees slew, and did it without 
passion. For passion suffers not a man to see, but, just as in a night-battle, it leads him, with 
eyes blindfolded and ears stopped up, where it will. Then let us rid ourselves of this demon, 
at its first beginning let us quell it, let us put the sign of the Cross on our breast, as it were 
a curb. Wrath is a shameless dog: but let it learn to hear the law. If there be in a sheep-fold 
a dog so savage as not to obey the command of the shepherd, nor to know his voice, all is 


208 


Homily XVII on Acts vii. 35. 


lost and ruined. He is kept along with the sheep: but if he makes a meal on the sheep, he is 
useless, and is put to death. If he has learnt to obey thee, feed thy dog: he is useful when it 
is against the wolves, against robbers, and against the captain of the robbers that he barks, 
not against the sheep, not against friends. If he does not obey he ruins all: if he learns not 
to mind thee, he destroys all. The mildness in thee let not wrath consume, but let it guard 
it, and feed it up. And it will guard it, that it may feed in much security, if it destroy wicked 
and evil thoughts, if it chase away the devil from every side. So is gentleness preserved, when 
evil works are nowhere admitted: so we become worthy of respect, when we learn not to be 
shameless. For nothing renders a man so shameless, as an evil conscience. Why are harlots 
without shame? Why are virgins shamefaced? Is it not from their sin that the former, from 
their chastity that the latter, are such? For nothing makes a person so shameless, as sin. “And 
yet on the contrary,” say you, “it puts to shame.” Yes; him who condemns himself: but him 
that is past blushing, it renders even more reckless: for desperation makes daring. For “the 
wicked,” saith the Scripture, “when he is come into the depths of evils, despiseth.” (Prov. 
xviii. 3.) But he that is shameless, will also be reckless, and he that is reckless, will be daring. 

See in what way gentleness is destroyed, when evil thoughts gnaw at it. This is why there 
is such a dog, barking mightily: we have also sling and stone (ye know what I mean): we 
have also spear and enclosure and cattle-fold: let us guard our thoughts unhurt. If the dog 
be gentle (oafvp) with the sheep, but savage against those without, and keep vigilant watch, 
this is the excellence of a dog: and, be he ever so famished, not to devour the sheep; be he 
ever so full, not to spare the wolves. Such too is anger meant to be: however provoked, not 
to forsake gentleness; however at quiet, to be on the alert against evil thoughts: to acknow- 
ledge the friend, and not for any beating forsake him, and for all his caressing, to fly at the 
intruder. The devil uses caressing full oft: let 400 the dog know at sight that he is an intruder. 
So also let us caress (oa(vojpev) Virtue, though she put us to pain, and show our aversion 
to Vice, though she give us pleasure. Let us not be worse than the dogs, which, even when 
whipped and throttled, do not desert their master: but if 401 the stranger also feed them, even 

400 Edd. from E. Zaivei 6 5ta(3oAoq TtoAAaKiq tlx; 6 kuwv, aAAa yvwrw iraq oil. “The devil fawns full oft as 
the dog, but let every man know that,” etc. A. B. C. N. wq 6 kuwv ei5erw (ISerw X.) on. We restore the true 
reading by omitting wq. “The dog” is anger: the devil oaivei, not as the dog, but upon the dog, as the aAAorpioq 
in the preceding sentence. “Let our faithful watch-dog see at once that he is an intruder.” In the following sentence 
the image is so far incongruous, as oouvwpcv here has a different reference: viz. “as the dog fawns upon the 
friend though beaten, so let us,” etc. 

401 fiv 5e aurouq Kai rpecpp 6 dAAorpioq Kai ourw (AcaTTOuaiv (A. (3Aai|>ouaiv). The antithesis seems to require 
the sense to be, “While, if the stranger even feed them, for all that, they do him a mischief.” But the words rpe<pr| 
and (3M7trouaiv are scarcely suitable in the sense, Tpo<pqv 5i5w and Auparvovtai. Edd. have from E. alone, Ttwq 
ou pfiAAov (3A.dvJ)0uaiv; in the sense, “If however the stranger (not merely caresses but) also (regularly) feeds 
them, how shall they not do more hurt (than good)?” i.e. “If the devil be suffered to pamper our anger, that 

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Homily XVII on Acts vii. 35. 


so they do hurt. There are times when anger is useful; but this is when it barks against 
strangers. What means it, “Whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause?” (Matt. v. 
22.) It means, Stand not up in thine own quarrel, neither avenge thyself: if thou see another 
suffering deadly wrong, stretch out thy hand to help him. This is no longer passion, when 
thou art clear of all feeling for thyself alone. David had gotten Saul into his power, and was 
not moved by passion, did not thrust the spear into him, the enemy he had in his power; 
but took his revenge upon the Devil. (1 Sam. xxvi. 7.) Moses, when he saw a stranger doing 
an injury, even slew him (Exod. ii. 22): but when one of his own people, he did not so: them 
that were brethren he would have reconciled; the others not so. That “most meek” (Num. 
xii. 3) Moses, as Scripture witnesseth of him, see how he was roused! But not so, we: on the 
contrary, where we ought to show meekness, no wild beast so fierce as we: but where we 
ought to be roused, none so dull and sluggish. (Horn. vi. de laud. Pauli, ad fin.) On no occa- 
sion do we use our faculties to the purpose they were meant for: and therefore it is that our 
life is spent to no purpose. For even in the case of implements; if one use them, one instead 
of other, all is spoilt: if one take his sword, and then, where he should use it and cut with it, 
uses only his hand, he does no good: again, where he should use his hand, by taking the 
sword in hand he spoils all. In like manner also the physician, if where he ought to cut, he 
cuts not, and where he ought not, he does cut, mars all. Wherefore, I beseech you, let us use 
the thing (up npdypcm) at its proper time. The proper time for anger is never, where we 
move in our own quarrel: but if it is our duty to correct others, then is the time to use it, 
that we may by force deliver others. (Horn, in Matt. xvi. §7.) So shall we both be like unto 
God, always keeping a spirit free from wrath, and shall attain unto the good things that are 
to come, through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with whom, to 
the Father and the Holy Ghost together, be glory, dominion, and honor, now and evermore, 
world without end. Amen. 


which should have been our safeguard will prove a bane to us.” — Perhaps this is the sense intended in the old 
reading; but if so, kou ourw is unsuitable. 


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Homily XVIII on Acts vii. 54. 


Homily XVIII. 

Acts VII. 54 

“When they heard these things, they were cut to “the heart, and they gnashed on him with 

their teeth. ” 

See, 402 once more, the wrong-doers in trouble. Just as the Jews are perplexed, saying, 
“What are we to do with these men?” so these also are “cut to the heart.” (ch. iv. 16.) And 
yet it was he that had good right to be incensed, who, having done no wrong, was treated 
like a criminal, and was spitefully calumniated. But the calumniators had the worst of it in 
the end. So true is that saying, which I am ever repeating, “111 to do, is ill to fare.” And yet 
he (in his charges against them) resorted to no calumny, but proved (what he said). So sure 
are we, when we are shamefully borne down in a matter wherein we have a clear conscience, 
to be none the worse for it. — “if 403 they desired,” say you, “to kill him, how was it that they 
did not take occasion, out of what he said, that they might kill him?” They would fain have 
a fair-seeming plea to put upon their outrage. “Well then, was not the insulting them a fair 
plea?” It was not his doing, if they were insulted: it was the Prophet’s accusation of them. 
And besides, they did not wish it to look as if they killed him because of what he had said 
against them — just as they acted in the case of Christ; no, but for impiety: now 404 this word 

402 In our mss. the Homily opens abruptly with the question, Ilux; ouk E'Aa(3ov ek rwv EtpqpEvwv acpoppqv 
eiq ro [pq Cat.] dveAciv aurov; which is left unanswered, till some way further on. See note 2. — Montf. notes, 
“Unus, eioro pf] dveA.eTv.” But this reading does not appear in any of our mss. though the Catena has it. Edd. 
from E, have; “How it was that they did not take occasion from what he had said to kill him, but are still mad, 
and seek an accusation, one may well wonder. So ever in trouble are the wrong-doers. Just then as the chief 
priests, in their perplexity, said,” etc. F. D. adopting part of this addition, “but are still mad, and seek an accusation. 
See once more,” etc. 

403 ou5ev Ttdaxopev. Kai e(3ouAovto, cpqaiv (om. D. F.) oveAeTv aurov. (as if these words were part of the 
sacred text. Then) npocpaatv (’AAAa Ttpocp. D. F.) q0£Aov EuAoyov k. t. A. A. B. C. D. F. The modern text substi- 
tutes, ’E(3ouAovro p£v ouv aveA-Eiv aAA’ ou itoiouai rouro, airiav 0eAovte<; EuAoyov k. t. X. — CEcumenius, 
however, begins his comment thus: Ei e(3ouAovto oveAeIv, nux; ouk avElAov eu0£Wc; t6te;"Oti itpocpaaiv EuAoyov 
k. r. X. Hence we restore the true reading, and the proper order. Namely, for Kai we read Et, and transpose to 
this place, as part of the interlocution, the question ttux; ouk E'Aa(3ov — ; So, the cpqaiv is explained, the question 
is followed by its answer, and there is no abruptness. 

404 rouro 5 e EuaEftelac; qv ro p& 210’pa. i.e. all that Stephen had spoken in accusation of their wickedness, 
especially v. 51-53, was the language of piety, of a devout man zealous for the honor of God: they could not say, 
“This is impious;” and they were waiting to catch at something which might enable them to cry out, “He blas- 
phemeth:” and, disappointed of this, they were cut to the heart. — Below Ben. retains (from E. alone) pq TtdA.iv 
Kaivov ri TtEpi aurov aAAo yEvqrat, though Savile had restored the genuine reading pq TtaAtv aiSEaipurrEpoc; 

211 


Homily XVIII on Acts vii. 54. 


of his was the expression of piety. Wherefore, as they attempted, besides killing him, to hurt 
his reputation also, “they were cut to the heart.” For they were afraid lest he should on the 
contrary become an obj ect of even greater reverence. Therefore, just what they did in Christ’s 
case, the same they do here also. For as He said, “Ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the 
right hand of God” (Matt. xxvi. 64), and they, calling it blasphemy, “ran upon Him;” just 
so was it here. There, they “rent their garments;” here, they “stopped their ears. But he, being 
full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus 
standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold I see the heavens opened, and the Son 
of Man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and 
stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and 
stoned him.” (v. 55-58.) And yet, if he lied, they ought to have thought him beside himself, 
and to have let him go. — But he wished to bring them over, “and said, Behold,” etc., for, 
since he had spoken of Christ’s death, and had said nothing of His resurrection, he would 
fain add this doctrine also. “Standing at the right hand of God.” And in this manner He 
appeared to him: 405 that, were it but so, the Jews might receive Him: for since the (idea of 
His) sitting (at the right hand of God) was offensive to them, for the present he brings forward 
only what relates to His Resurrection. This is the reason also why his face was glorified. For 
God, being merciful, desired to make their machinations the means of recalling them unto 


yevrycai. They had desired to injure his reputation for sanctity, and now feared that his speech would have the 
opposite result. 

405 Edd. from E. outto 5e aurto Aeyet cpavrjvai, coi; ttou Sie^etatv, vva Kav ourco Se^tovrou tov Aoyov. “And 
Stephen describes Christ as appearing to Him in this manner, as one somewhere relates at large, in order that,” 
etc.: meaning, that he might have said “sitting at the right hand,” but forbears to do this, because it was offensive 
to the Jews, and accordingly teux; itepi rrjc dvaardaetot; Ktvet Aoyov, kou <pr|aiv autov taraaSat. The clause to<; 
Ttou Sie^etoiv seems to have been intended by the innovator, not as part of the text, but as a gloss, “as is somewhere 
shown at large.” But what Chrys. says is, that Christ was pleased to appear in this attitude to Stephen for the 
sake of the Jews, in order, etc. — Horn. vi. inAscens. (Cat. in 1,) he says, “Why standing, and not sitting? To show 
that He is in act to succor His martyr. For thus it is said also of the Father, ‘Stand up, O God, and, Now will I 
stand up, saith the Lord, I will set him in safety.’” — Below, Aid touro k. r. A. Comp, de Mundi Creat. Horn. ii. 
t. vi. 447. C. “Why did He cause the face of Stephen to shine? Because he was to be stoned as a blasphemer for 
saying ‘Behold,’ etc., therefore God, forestalling this, crowned his face with angelic beauty, to show those 
thankless ones, that if he were a blasphemer, he would not have been thus glorified.” But E. (Edd.) duo rourou 
oroxdijopai 5e5 oS,. “I conjecture that it was from this vision (Erasm. from this time: Ben. hence) that his face 
was glorified.” In the next sentence, Edd. from E. 51 tov eti£(3ouA£uovto ekeTvoi, 51 aurtov £(3ouAeto aurout; 
£KKaA£aaa0at, e! kou pr]5£v tiAeov eyEvero. Kat £K(3aA6vt£<; k. r. A. “by means of the very machinations 
wherewith those were assailed He desired to call (the doers) themselves to Himself, even if nothing more had 
been done.” 


212 


Homily XVIII on Acts vii. 54. 


Himself. And see, how many signs are wrought! “And cast him out of the city, and stoned 
him.” Here again, “without the city,” and even in death, Confession and Preaching. (Heb. 
xiii. 21.) “And the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was 
Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling 406 upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my 
spirit.” (v. 59.) This is meant to show them that he is not perishing, and to teach them. “And 
he knelt down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” (v. 60.) 
To clear himself and show that neither were his former words prompted by passion, he 
says, “Lord” “lay not this sin to their charge”: wishing also even in this way to win them 
over. For to show that he forgave their wrath and rage in murdering him, and that his own 
soul was free from all passion, was the way to make his saying to be favorably received. 

“And Saul was consenting unto his death.” Hereupon arises a persecution, and it becomes 
a great one. “And at that time there was a great persecution against the Church which was 
at Jerusalem. And they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, 
except the Apostles.” (ch. viii. 1.) Mark how once more God permits temptations to arise; 
mark, and well observe, how the events are ordered by Divine Providence. They were admired 
because of the signs: being scourged, they were none the worse for it: (some) were ordained 
in the matter of the widows 407 : the word increased: once more, God permits a great hindrance 
to arise. And a persecution of no ordinary kind [“and they were all scattered,” etc.]; for they 
feared their enemies, now become more daring: and at the same time it is shown that they 
were but men, these that were afraid, that fled. For, that thou mayest not say after these 
things that 408 by grace alone they effected (what they did), they were also persecuted, and 
themselves became more timorous, while their adversaries were more daring. “And were 
all scattered abroad,” it says, “except the Apostles.” But this was divinely ordered, so that 
they should no longer all sit there in Jerusalem. “And devout men,” it says, “carried Stephen 
to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.” (v. 2.) If they were “devout,” why did 
they “make great lamentation over him?” They were not yet perfect. The man was gracious 
and amiable: this also shows that they were men — not their fear alone, but their grief and 
lamentation. Who would not have wept to see that mild, that lamb-like person stoned, and 
lying dead? 409 Fit eulogy to be spoken over his grave has the Evangelist recorded, in this 

406 A. E. N. Cat. omit the rov 0eov. 

407 Kat£arr|aav etci twv xnpwv, A. C. N. Sav. xetpwv, Cat. xwpwv, B. D. E. F. Morel. Ben. versati sunt in re- 
gionibus, Erasm. constituti sunt per regiones, Ben. 

408 on rfj xapm povov KoertopSouv. Or, “that by grace they only succeeded,” i.e. always, without failure. 

409 Chrys. seems to assume that av5pe<; £uA.a(3eT<; refers to Christian men, a view that has been taken by some 
modern expositors (as Ewald and DeWette). It is better to understand by the term, pious Jews who were favorably 
disposed to Christianity (So Meyer, Olshausen, Lechler, Lange, Gloag, Hackett). The usage of £uA.a(3rj<; in the 
N.T. favors this view as it is applied to devout persons who were not Christians (vid. ii. 5; Luke ii. 25) in every 
case, except in xxii. 12when it refers to Ananias, a Christian, but is used in describing him in a legal point of 

213 


Homily XVIII on Acts vii. 54. 


one speech, “Lay not this sin to their charge.” — “And made,” he says, “great lamentation 
over him.” — But let us look over again what has been said. 

He 410 mentions the cause of his (angelic) appearance (Recapitulation, vii. 54; viii. 2.); 
“But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory 
of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.” And when he said, “I see the heavens 
opened, they stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord.” (v. 56, 57.) And yet 
in what respect are these things deserving of accusation? “Upon him,” the man who has 
wrought such miracles, the man who has prevailed over all in speech, the man who can hold 
such discourse! As if they had got the very thing they wanted, they straightway give full 
scope to their rage. “And the witnesses,” he says, “laid down their clothes at the feet of a 
young man, whose name was Saul.” (v. 58.) Observe how particularly he relates what concerns 
Paul, to show thee that the Power which wrought in him was of God. But after all these 
things, not only did he not believe, but also aimed at Him with a thousand hands: for this 
is why it says, “And Saul was consenting unto his death.” — And this blessed man does not 
simply pray, but does it with earnestness: “having kneeled down.” Mark his divine death! 
So long 41 1 only the Lord permitted the soul to remain in him. “And having said this, he fell 
asleep.” (v. 60.) — “And they were all scattered abroad throughout the region of Judea and 
Samaria, (ch. viii. 1.) And now without scruple they had intercourse with Samaria, whereas 
it had been said to them, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles” “and into any city of the 
Samaritans enter ye not.” (Matt. x. 5.) “Except the Apostles,” it says: they, in this way also, 


view: £uAa|3f|<; Kara rov vopov. Moreover, if Christians had been meant, they would not probably have been 
designated by so vague a term, but, as uniformly, would have been called disciples or brethren. The burial of 
Stephen by devout Jews recalls the burial of Jesus by Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus (John xix. 38, 
39). — G.B.S. 

410 Tf]v alrlav xrjc; ovjieax; cppavv. B. C. Sav. marg. meaning, That his face was as the face of an angel was 
caused by the glory of Christ which he now beholds. The modern text omits this, having said the same thing 
above in the words onto rourou, see note 4, p. 112. 

411 Ben. after Morel, from E. without notice of the true reading (A. B. C. N. Cat.), received by Savile, has: 
“OBev 0ao<; aurou Kai 6 Bavaroc; yeyove. Meypi yap rourou auyKEXtopriTO rale; tjwxau; ev rw a5p aval. (The 
latter part is adopted also by D. F.) “Whence also his death became divine. For until this time it had been granted 
to the souls to be in Blades.” This comment is derived from St. Cyril. Al. from whom the Catena cites: “Since 
we are justified by faith in Him.. . .He hath wrought a new thing for us, to ppKert p£v Eiq a5ou rp£yav raq rwv 
awparwv dTiaAAarropEvat; iJwxck; xaBa Kai irpwriv, Tt£pit£a0ai 5 e paAAov eic; xapaq 0£ou ijwvrot;: that our 
souls, on their deliverance from our bodies, no longer as aforetime haste into Hades, but are conveyed into the 
hands of the Living God. And knowing this, Saint Stephen said, “Lord Jesus receive my spirit.” CEcumen, repeats 
this, almost in the same words. 


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Homily XVIII on Acts vii. 54. 


wishing to win the Jews, — but not to leave the city, — and to be the means of inspiring others 
with boldness. 

“As for Saul, he made havoc of the Church, entering into every house, and haling men 
and women committed them to prison.” (v. 3.) Great was his frenzy: that he was alone, that 
he even entered into houses: for indeed he was ready to give his life for the Law. “Haling,” 
it says, “men and women:” mark both the confidence, and the violence, and the frenzy. All 
that fell into his hands, he put to all manner of ill-treatment: for in consequence of the recent 
murder, he was become more daring. “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went 
everywhere preaching the word. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached 
Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip 
spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud 
voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and 
that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city. But there was a certain 
man, called Simon, which before time in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the 
people of Samaria.” (v. 4-9.) Observe 412 another trial, this affair of Simon. “Giving out,” it 
says, “that he was himself some great one. To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the 
greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because 
that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip 
preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they 
were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was 
baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which 
were done. Now when the Apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received 
the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: who, when they were come down, 
prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost.” (v. 10-15.) And (yet) great signs 
had been done: how then had they not received the Spirit? They had received the Spirit, 
namely, of remission of sins: but the Spirit of miracles they had not received. “For as yet He 
was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then 
laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” (v. 16, 17.) For, to show 
that this was the case, and that it was the Spirit of miracles they had not received, observe 
how, having seen the result, Simon came and asked for this. “And when Simon saw that 
through laying on of the Apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, 
saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy 
Ghost.” (v. 18, 19.) 


412 In the old text, v. 4-10, are given continuously, and v. 11-19; between them the brief comments which 
we have restored to their proper places, viz. here and after v. 15: and after v. 19, the comment which we have 
placed after v. 17. In the modern text, the first comment (omitting Aiytov eivat k. t. A..) is placed after v. 10; in 
the second, the words, real ar|pela pcydAa eyevero, are omitted; the rest is given after v. 19. 


215 


Homily XVIII on Acts vii. 54. 


“The 413 persecution,” say you, “gained strength.” True, but at that very time to men 
possessed before (by a hostile power) it brought deliverance. For it planted the miracles like 
a stronghold, in the heart of the enemy’s country. — Not even the death of Stephen quenched 
their rage, nay, increased it rather: it scattered wide the teachers, so that the greater became 
the discipleship. — “And there was joy.” And yet there had been “great lamentation:” true; 
but mark again the good — “Of a long time” was the malady, but this man brought them 
deliverance. — And how came he to baptize Simon also? Just as Christ chose Judas. — And 
“beholding the signs” which he did, forasmuch as the others did not receive the (power of 
working) signs, he durst not ask for it. — How was it then that they did not strike him dead, 
as they did Ananias and Sapphira? Because even in the old times, he that gathered sticks 
(on the sabbath-day) was put to death as a warning to others (Num. xv. 32) and in no other 
instance did any suffer the same fate. So too on the present occasion, “Peter said to him, 
Thy money perish, because thou hast imagined that the gift of God is to be purchased with 
money.” — (v. 20.) Why had not these received the Holy Ghost, when baptized? Either because 
Philip kept this honor for the Apostles; or, because he had not this gift (to impart); or, he 
was one of the Seven: which is rather to be said. Whence, I take it, this Philip was one of the 
Apostles. 414 But observe; those went not forth: it was Providentially ordered that these 

413 The modern text E. F. D. Edd. “But although the persecution then most gained strength, nevertheless 
God again delivered them, eTtirelxioac; aurolc; ra aqpela. Stephen’s death, however, did not quench their rage, 
nay, increased it rather, wherefore also the teachers, etc. But observe again how good things take their turn with 
them, and how they are in joy. ‘For there was great joy,’ it says, ‘in that city.’ And yet there had also been ‘great 
lamentation.’ Thus is God ever wont to do, and to temper things grievous with things joyful, that He may be 
more held in admiration. But of a long time had this disease been upon Simon; wherefore not even thus is he 
rid of it.” But in the genuine text, (A. B. C. N. Cat. ad. v. 15-17, and 3, 4.) the subject to e^elA.£to and eTtereixtoe 
is not Oeoq, but Sitoypoq: and the persons delivered are not the disciples, but the Samaritans, described as 
TtpOKarexopcvoi, viz. under the influence of Simon’s sorceries. In the last sentence, the meaning is entirely 
mistaken: for the voaqpa is the infatuation of the Samaritans, not the wickedness of Simon. — ’Enerelxioe yap 
auroTq td aqpela can hardly be rendered without an awkward periphrasis: eTureix. tt nvt, a phrase frequently 
used by St. Chrys., means to raise up something against a person as an emrelxiopa, (as Decelea in Attica against 
the Athenians in the Peloponnesian war:) see Mr. Field’s Index to Horn, in Matt. 

414 So A. B. C. N. Cat. Of the Edd., Savile alone retains this clause, the rest follow the mod. text, which rejects 
it. And indeed it can hardly be doubted, that St. Chrys. himself would have expunged, or altered this statement, 
had he revised these Homilies: for in the next Horn, he shows that the Philip of w. 26 ff. was certainly not the 
Apostle, but probably one of the seven deacons. The fact seems to be, that having had no occasion until now to 
discuss this question, he had assumed (as others had done before him) that the Philip of the Eunuch’s history 
was the Apostle of that name: thus in Horn, ad Gen. xxxv. §2 (delivered but a few years before), he takes this for 
granted. Here, however, he perceives that the Philip who preached at Samaria could not be the Apostle: but at 
present he is still under the impression, that the person by whom the Eunuch was converted was St. Philip the 

2J6 


Homily XVIII on Acts vii. 54. 


should go forth and those be lacking, because of the Holy Ghost: for they had received power 
to work miracles, but not also to impart the Spirit to others: this was the prerogative of the 
Apostles. And observe (how they sent) the chief ones: not any others, but Peter [and John 415 ] . 
“And when Simon,” it says, “saw that through laying on of the Apostles’ hands the Holy 
Ghost was given.” He would not have said, “And having seen ,” 416 unless there had been 
some sensible manifestation 417 “Then laid they their hands on them,” etc. Just as Paul also 


Apostle, and accordingly speaks as in the text, “This Philip, I take it, was one of the Seven; he of the story of the 
Eunuch was one of the Apostles.” Of course it was impossible on a review of the circumstances to rest in this 
conclusion; and in the very beginning of the next Homily he tacitly revokes the notion here advanced, and points 
out how the command, “Arise, and go to the south,” must have been addressed to Philip in Samaria (the deacon), 
and not Philip the Apostle in Jerusalem. (See the note there.) The early writers frequently confound the Philip 
of this chapter (the deacon and evangelist, Acts xxi. 9, with the Apostle: Polycrates ap. Eus. H. E. iii. 30, and v. 
24, (see Vales and Heinichen on the former passage.) Const. Apol. vi. 7. S. Clementine Strom, iii. p. 192. Comp. 
St. Augustin Serm. 266. §5. — S. Isadore of Pelusium, Ep. 448, in reply to a correspondent who was not satisfied 
with his statement (Ep. 447), that “Philip who baptized the Eunuch and catechized Simon was not the Apostle, 
but one of the Seven,” and requested proof from Scripture (’ETtEiSq Kai papTUptav (JqTElq Ypot(ptKqv....’Enei5f| 
ttoAAwv droSet^Etov Epaq,) bids him observe, ch. viii. 1. that the Apostles remained at Jerusalem: that Philip the 
Apostle would have been competent to impart the gift of the Spirit: and further suggests, that Philip the deacon, 
fleeing from the persecution, was on his way through Samaria to Caesarea his native place, (where we afterwards 
find him xxi. 9), when these events befell, viz. the preaching, etc., at Samaria, and the conversion of the Eu- 
nuch. — In the next sentence, EKEtvot (i.e. the Apostles) ouk E^qEaav WKOvopqSq TOUTOuq (i.e. Philip the deacon 
and others) e^eA0£iv Kai EKEtvouq (the Apostles) uareprjaai: “should come after,” or rather, “should be lacking, 
be behindhand, not be forthcoming (at the time):” but Cat. Kai EKEtvouq ETEpwq, “and those (the Apostles) 
otherwise.” — The modern text, after “next to Stephen,” proceeds thus: “Wherefore also, when baptizing, he did 
not impart the Spirit to the baptized, for neither had he authority to do so, since the gift belonged only to the 
Twelve. But observe; those went not forth; it was Providentially ordered that these should go forth, o'i Kat 
uarepouv Trjq x^ptroq 5ta to prjTtto AafteTv Ilv. & 169 A., who were deficient in the grace because they had not 
yet received the Holy Ghost. For they received power, etc. Consequently, this was the prerogative of the Apostles.” 

415 Kat opa rouq Koptxpatouq ouk aAAouq Ttvaq aAAa nerpov. B. C. D. F. N. Cat. but A. adds, seemingly from 
a marginal gloss, Kat ’Iwavvqv pqv, “and John, however,” E. (Edd.) o0ev Kat rouq Kop. ouk aAAouq Ttvaq eotiv 
15eTv touto Ttotouvraq. “Whence also the leaders, not any others, are to be seen doing this.” 

416 Ouk av 5e EtitEv, A. B. D. F. ouk av SlSorat tote eItcev, C. ouk av eISev, Cat. Sav. marg. I'SevN. Read, ouk 
av “tSd>v 5e” eittev. — E. ouk av ouTwq EtitEv. 

417 Chrys. appropriately remarks that the word 15d)v (18) implies that there were visible manifestations 
connected with the gifts of the Spirit here spoken of. This would seem to show that when it said (16) that the 
Holy Spirit had not fallen upon any of the Samaritans, that the ordinary influences of the Spirit which accompany 
conversion, were not referred to, but some special and miraculous endowments such as the gift of tongues, and 
of prophecy and perhaps of miracles were meant. — G.B.S. 


2J7 


Homily XVIII on Acts vii. 54. 


did, when they spake with tongues, (ch. xix. 6.) Observe the execrable conduct of Simon. 
“He offered money,” with what object? And yet he did not see Peter doing this for money. 
And it was not of ignorance that he acted thus; it was because he would tempt them, because 
he wished to get matter of accusation against them. And therefore also Peter says, “Thou 
hast no part nor lot in this matter, for thine heart is not right before God “because thou hast 
thought,” etc. (v. 21.) Once more he brings to light what was in the thoughts, because Simon 
thought to escape detection. “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness and pray God, if perhaps 
the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive the bond of inquity. Then 
answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye 
have spoken come upon me.” (v. 22-24.) Even this he did only formally, as words of 
course, when he ought to have wept and mourned as a penitent. “If perchance it may be 
forgiven thee.” Not as though it would not have been pardoned, had he wept, but this is the 
manner of the Prophet also, to denounce absolutely, (dnayopsusiv) and not to say, “Howbeit, 
if thou do this, thy sin shall be forgiven,” but that in anywise the punishment shall take effect. 

(a) “Therefore they that were scattered abroad, went everywhere, preaching the word.” 
But 419 I would have thee admire how even in a season of calamity they neglected not the 
preaching. “Hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.” (Recapitulation, v. 4-6.) Just as 
in the case of Moses by contrast (with the magicians) the miracles were evident miracles, 
so here also. There was magic, and so these signs were manifest. ( b ) “For unclean spirits 
came out of many that were possessed with them” (v. 7); for this was a manifest miracle: — not 
as the magicians did: for the other (Simon), it is likely, bound (men with spells); — “and 
many,” it says, “that were palsied and lame were healed.” There was no deceit here: for it 
needed but that they should walk and work. “And to him they all gave heed, saying, This 


418 Kai rouro acpoaiwaet (povov add. D. F.) eitolet, 5eov KAauoai Kai it£v0fjaai. Cat. d<poaiwp£vw<;> 1. 
a<poaioup£vw<;, “as a mere formal ceremony ominis causa.” 

419 What follows, to the end of the Exposition, has by some accident fallen into strange confusion. In the 
Translation we have endeavored to restore the proper order. In the first place it should be observed, that the 
portion beginning 01 pev Siapaprupapevot, p. 148. D. Ben. and ending at ore itpwrov OTiareuaav, p. 149. A. 
consisting of about 20 lines, is interchanged with the portion of about 25 lines, beginning Aeov ouv toutov, and 
ending ekeT rou omoaroAou, p 149, C. These being restored to their proper order, which is evident from the 
contents of the two portions, we have, to the end of the Recapitulation, two portions, dividing at ouk idxuoEv 
eAeTv roue ontocrtoAoui; (e^lararo,) p. 148, B. the former beginning with the exposition of v. 4, the second with 
v. 7, and both ending at v. 24. These, it may be supposed, are two several and successive expositions. But it will 
be seen on comparing them, that each in itself is often abrupt and incomplete, and that their parts fit into each 
other in a way which can hardly be accidental. It may also be remarked, that the length of each is the same; each 
containing about 46 lines. We have marked the order of the mss. and Edd. by the letters a, b, prefixed to the 
several parts. 


218 


Homily XVIII on Acts vii. 54. 


(man) is the Power of God.” (v. 10.) And that was fulfilled which was spoken by Christ, 
“There shall come false Christs and false Prophets in My name.” — (Matt. xxiv. 24.) “And to 
him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.” (v. 
1 1 .) (a) And yet there ought to have been not one demoniac there, seeing that of a long time 
he had been bewitching them with sorceries: but if there were many demoniacs, many 
palsied, these pretences were not truth. But Philip here by his word also won them over, 
discoursing concerning the kingdom of Christ, (v. 12.) “And Simon,” it says, “being baptized, 
continued with Philip (v. 13): not for faith’s sake, but in order that he might become such 
(as he). ( b ) But why did they not correct him instantly? They were content with his con- 
demning himself. For this too belonged to their work of teaching (rrjc; StSaoKaAfac;). But 420 
when he had not power to resist, he plays the hypocrite, just as did the magicians, who said, 
“This is the finger of God.” And indeed that he might not be driven away again, therefore 
he “continued with Philip,” and did not part from him. “And when the Apostles which were 
at Jerusalem,” etc. (v. 13, 14.) See how many things are brought about by God’s Providence 
through the death of Stephen! (a) “But they,” it says, “having come down, prayed for them 
that they might receive the Holy Ghost: for as yet He was fallen upon none of them. Then 
laid they their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” (v. 1 5- 1 7.) Seest thou 
that it was not to be done in any ordinary manner, but it needed great power to give the 
Holy Ghost? For it is not all one, to obtain remission of sins, and to receive such a power. 
(b) By degrees it is, that those receive the gift. It was a twofold sign: both the giving to those, 
and the not giving to this man. 421 Whereas then this man ought, on the contrary, to have 
asked to receive the Holy Ghost, he, because he cared not for this, asks power to give It to 
others. And yet those received not this power to give: but this man wished to be more illus- 
trious than Philip, he being among the disciples! (a) “He offered them money.” (v. 18, 19.) 
What? had he seen the others doing this? had he seen Philip? Did he imagine they did not 
know with what mind he came to them? ( b ) “Thy money with thee to perdition” (v. 20): 
since thou hast not used it as it ought to be used. These are not words of imprecation, but 
of chastisement. “To thee,” he says, be it (to thee): being such. As if one should say, Let it 
perish along with thy purpose. Hast thou so mean conceptions of the gift of God, that thou 
hast imagined it to be altogether a thing of man? It is not this, (a) Wherefore also Peter well 
calls the affair a gift: “Thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.” 
Dost thou observe how on all occasions they are clean from money? “For thine heart is not 
right in the sight of God.” (v. 21.) Dost thou see how he does all of malice? To be simple, 


420 This sentence alone seems still to be out of its place. ’ETt£i5i| 5e dvriaTfjvai ouk taxuaev k. t. X. might be 
very fitly inserted in the passage below, ending ouk tax. £A.£tv r. ait. which is otherwise mutilated: see the note 
there. 

421 Between this and the following sentence the mss. and Edd. give the exposition of v. 25. 


219 


Homily XVIII on Acts vii. 54. 


499 

however, was the thing needed. ( b ) For had it been done with simplicity, he would have 
even welcomed his willing mind. Seest thou that to have mean conceptions of great things 
is to sin doubly? Accordingly, two things he bids him: “Repent and pray, if haply the thought 
of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” (v. 22.) Seest thou it was a wicked thought he had en- 
tertained? Therefore he says, “If haply it may be forgiven thee:” because he knew him to be 
incorrigible, (a) “For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of 
iniquity.” (v. 23.) Words of exceeding wrath! But otherwise he did not punish him: that faith 
may not thereafter be of compulsion; that the matter may not seem to be carried ruthlessly; 
that he may introduce the subject of repentance: or also, because it suffices for correction 
to have convicted him, to have told him what was in his heart, to have brought him to confess 
himself overcome (oil e& 128 - Aa>). For that he says, “Pray ye for me,” is a confession that 
he has done wrong. Observe him, what a miscreant he is; when he was convicted, then 
he believed: when again he was convicted, then he became humble. 424 “Seeing 425 his mir- 
acles,” [“he was amazed,” and came over.] He thought to be able to escape detection: he 


422 Ei yap pera acpeAelai; eylvero, Kai Kav F.) anede^aro (anede^avro C. F.) aurou rf|v npo0uplav. B. C. F. 
The preceding sentence from (a) is Kai pf|v acpeArj e'Sei eivai. The connection being lost, this passage was not 
understood, and A. omits it, B. F. N. read daipaAeiai;, and E. D. substitute, “If however he had come (npoafjA0ev) 
as he ought to have come, he would have been received, he would not like a pest have been driven away.” 

423 “Opa aurov piapov ovra. The modern text (Edd.) alters the sense: opa Ttcoq, Kalroi piapoi; wv, opax;. “See 
how, miscreant though he is, nevertheless, etc.” 

424 Simon believed (13) only in an intellectual sense, being impressed with wonder, rather than convinced 
of sin. So, now, it is fear of calamity and penalty, not repentance, which leads him to ask the apostles to pray for 
him. — G.B.S. 

425 Oewpiov aurou ra appeia, evopRe 5uvaa0ai Aav0aveiv evopRe rexvr|v eivai to npaypa’ enei5f| 5e ouk 
laxuaev ISeTv (Sav. marg. eAeTv) roue; anoaroAouc;, e^lararo Kai npoafjA0ev. A. B. C. This, which is the conclusion 
of (a), is both corrupt and defective. He is enlarging upon the piapla of Simon’s conduct, as shown in the pre- 
ceding ore fiA.£YX0n....dre ndA.iv f|Aeyx0r|: comp, the following sentence. It looks as if the sentence eneiSt) 5e 
dvriarfjvai ouk laxuaev k. t. A. must belong to this place. The reading eAeTv t. an. is probably the true one: on 
e& 128 'Aw is twice said of Simon. Perhaps the passage may be restored somewhat thus: “Seeing his miracles, he 
was amazed, and came over.” He thought to escape detection, he thought the thing was an art: but when he had 
not power to resist, he plays the hypocrite, as the magicians did, who said, “This is the finger of God. Having 
seen the Apostles,” (hence the reading 15elv t. an.) how by laying on of hands etc.; again he thought it was an 
art, he thought to purchase it with money: but when he was not able to defeat the Apostles (as it was said above, 
“he wished to get matter of accusation against them,”) again he plays the hypocrite, and says, “Pray ye for me. 
etc.” — Edd. from E. “Seeing signs wrought he was amazed, showing that all was a lie (on his part). It is not said, 
npoarjA0ev, but, ’E^lararo. And why did he not do the former at once? He thought to be able, etc. enei5r| 5e 
ouk idxuae Aa0eTv r. an., npoafjA0ev.” 


220 


Homily XVIII on Acts vii. 54. 


thought the thing was an art: but when he had not power to defeat (eXetv) the Apostles, * * 
*. (b) Again, he fears the multitude, and is afraid to deny it; and yet he might have said, “I 
did not know: I did it in simplicity: but he was struck with dismay first by the former cir- 
cumstance, that he was overcome (oil e& 128 - Aoo), by the miracles and secondly by this, 
that his thoughts are made manifest. Therefore he now takes himself a long wayoff, to Rome, 
thinking the Apostle would not soon come there. 

“And they, when they had testified, and preached the word of the Lord, returned to 
Jerusalem, (v. 25.) “Testified,” probably because of him (Simon), that they may not be de- 
ceived; that thenceforth they may be safe. “Having preached,” it says, “the word of the Lord, 
they returned to Jerusalem.” Why do they go thither again where was the tyranny of the 
bad, where were those most bent upon killing them? Just as generals do in wars, they occupy 
that part of the scene of war which is most distressed. “And preached the Gospel in many 
villages of the Samaritans.” Observe them again, how they do not (npor|youpevojc;) of set 
purpose come to Samaria, but driven by stress of persecution, just as it was in the case of 
Christ; and how when the Apostles go thither, it is to men now believers, no longer Samar- 
itans. “But when the Apostles,” it says, “which were at Jerusalem heard this, they sent unto 
them Peter and John. Sent” them, again, to rid them of magic. And 426 besides, (the Lord) 
had given them a pattern at the time when the Samaritans believed. “And in many villages,” 
it says, “of the Samaritans, they preached the Gospel.” (John iv. 39.) Observe how actively 

497 

employed even their journeys were, how they do nothing without a purpose. 

Such travels should we also make. And why do I speak of travels? Many possess villages 
and lands, and give themselves no concern, nor make any account of this. That baths may 
be provided, their revenues increased, courts and buildings erected, for this they take plenty 
of pains: but for the husbandry of souls, not so. When you see thorns — answer me — you 
cut them up, you burn, you utterly destroy them, to rid your land of the hurt thence arising. 
And seest thou the laborers themselves overrun with thorns, and dost not cut them up, and 


426 aAAw<; 5e, Kai tuttov autou; eSeSdwet tore, ore oi Eapapeirai CTuareuaav. A. B. D. F. Sav. marg. But C. 
“to rid them of magic, to put them in mind of the doctrine which they learned from Christ when first they be- 
lieved:” which reading is adopted by E. and Edd. 

427 The preaching of Philip in Samaria was the first Gentile mission, for the Samaritans were a mixed people 
and were regarded as heathen by the Jews. An interesting concatenation of events took its rise in the bold 
preaching of Stephen. On the one side there proceeded from this the increased opposition of the Jewish nation 
and the sad calamity of the preacher’s own death, but on the other there flowed from this opposition and the 
persecution which was consequent upon it great benefit. The Christians were indeed scattered abroad by ill- 
treatment, but with them went the gospel message, and the great work of heathen missions dated directly back 
to the martyrdom of Stephen. Christian history furnishes no more impressive illustration of the saying of Ter- 
tullian: “The blood of martyrs is seed.” — G.B.S. 


221 


Homily XVIII on Acts vii. 54. 


art thou not afraid of the Owner Who shall call thee to account? For ought not each indi- 
vidual believer to build a Church, to get a Teacher, to cooperate (ouvar peoGai) (with him), 
to make this above all his object, that all may be Christians? Say, how is it likely thy laborer 
should be a Christian, when he sees thee so regardless of his salvation? Thou canst not work 
miracles, and so convert (Tieioai) him. By the means which are in thy power, convert him; 
by kindness, by good offices, by gentleness, by courting (KoAaK£i'& 139 - ) him, by all other 
means. Market-places, indeed, and baths, the most do provide; but no Churches: nay, 
sooner everything than this! Wherefore I beseech and implore, as a favor I entreat, yea as a 
law I lay it down, that there be no estate to be seen destitute of a Church. Tell not me, 
There is one hard by; there is one in the neighboring properties; the expense is great, the 
income not great. If thou have anything to expend upon the poor, expend it there: better 
there than here. Maintain a Teacher, maintain a Deacon, and a sacerdotal body complete. 
As by a bride, whether a wife whom thou takest, or a daughter whom thou givest in mar- 
riage, 429 so act by the Church: give her a dowry. So shall thy estate be filled with blessing. 


428 In St. Chrysostom’s time, little had been done for the conversion and instruction of the peasantry: hence 
in the latter half of the fourth century paganus came to be as synonymous with “heathen.” Even Christian pro- 
prietors neglected their duty in this regard, while they improved their properties, and swelled their revenues by 
great oppression of their tenants and laborers: see Horn, in Matt, xliii., lxi. and at the same time connived at the 
practice of the old idolatries, for the sake of the dues accruing to them from the temples which still remained. 
Thus Zeno of Verona, Serm. xv. p. 120, complains: Inprcediis vestris fumantia undique sola f ana non nostis, quce, 
si vera dicenda sunt, dissimulanda subtiliter custoditis. Jus templorum ne quis vobis eripiat, quotidie litigatis. The 
Christianity which was outwardly professed in the country parts was often for want of Churches and Clergy 
little more than nominal: and the heathen orator Libanius, in his Oratio pro Templis, addressed to the Emperor 
Theodosius, perhaps did not greatly exaggerate in the following description: “When you are told, that through 
this proceeding on your part (viz. the destruction of the Temples and suppression of the sacrifices) many are 
become Christians, you must not forget to distinguish between show and reality. They are not a whit changed 
from what they were before: they only say they are so. They resort indeed to public acts of religion, and mingle 
themselves with the general body of Christians. But when they have a show of praying, they invoke either none 
or the Gods.” — Moreover, the country clergy were often themselves ill-taught and needing instruction. Thus 
Horn, in Col. (t. xi. p. 392) delivered at Constantinople, Chrys. says: “How much instruction is needed by your 
brethren in the country, and by their teachers (kou roue; ercervtov StSaarcaAour;)!” Which perhaps was the result 
of a law passed a.d. 398, Cod. Theodos. xvi. tit. 2 1. 33 which enacted, that the clergy for the Churches founded 
on states, or in villages, should be from no other state or village, but that to which the Church pertained: and of 
these a certain number, at the discretion of the bishop, according to the extent of the village, etc. — On the other 
hand, Chrys. “on the Statues,” Or, xix. t. ii. p. 189 dwells with much delight on the virtues and patriarchal sim- 
plicity of the rural clergy in Syria, and the Christian attainments of their people. 

429 Quaver yuvalKa ayaywv rj vupcpryv, rj Buyarepa, rfj ’EkkA. outw Stcbcetao. Before Buy., A. B. F. N. insert 
kou, E. alone 5ou<;, and so Edd. Perhaps we may read tbaavei vupcprp rj yuv. ay., rj Souc; Buy. 


222 



Homily XVIII on Acts vii. 54. 


For what shall not be there of all that is good? Is it a small thing, tell me, that thy wine-press 
should be blessed; 430 a small thing, tell me, that of thy fruits God is the first to taste, and 
that the first fruits are there (with Him)? And then even for the peace of the laboring people 
this is profitable. Then as one whom they must respect, there will be the presbyter among 
them and this will contribute to the security of the estate. There will be constant prayers 
there through thee 431 (infra, note 1, p. 119) hymns and Communions through thee; the 
Oblation on each Lord’s Day. For only consider what a praise it will be, that, whereas others 
have built splendid tombs, to have it said hereafter: “Such a one built this,” thou hast reared 
Churches! Bethink thee that even until the coming of Christ thou shalt have thy reward, 
who hast reared up the altars of God. 

Suppose an Emperor had ordered thee to build an house that he might lodge there, 
wouldest thou not have done everything to please him? And here now it is palace of Christ, 
the Church, the Church which thou buildest. Look not at the cost, but calculate the profit. 
Thy people yonder cultivate thy field: cultivate thou their souls: they bring to thee thy fruits, 
raise thou them to heaven. He that makes the beginning is the cause of all the rest: and thou 
wilt be the cause that the people are brought under Christian teaching (Kcnrixoupevoov) 
both there, and in the neighboring estates. Your baths do but make the peasants less hardy, 
your taverns give them a taste for luxury, and yet you provide these for credit’s sake. Your 
markets and fairs, (Travriyupeu;) on the other hand, promote covetousness. But think 
now what a thing it would be to see a presbyter, the moving picture of Abraham, gray- 
headed, girded up, digging and working with his own hands? What more pleasant than such 
a field! Their virtue thrives. No intemperance there, nay, it is driven away: no drunkenness 
and wantonness, nay, it is cast out: no vanity, nay, it is extinguished. All benevolent tempers 


430 “The first-fruits of corn and of grapes, or wine were presented as oblations at the Altar, and the elements 
for the Holy Eucharist thence taken. See Can. Apost. ii. Cod. Afr. c. 37. Condi. Trull, c. 28. In a Sermon of St. 
Chrys. on the Ascension, this peculiar usage is mentioned, that a handful of ears of corn in the beginning of 
harvest was brought to the Church, words of benediction spoken over them, and so the whole field was considered 
as blessed. "OTtep yiverat ettl rwv TteStwv rwv araxur|<p6pu>v, oAtyouc; rtq araxuac; Aa(3wv, teat ptKpov Spaypa 
Ttotfjaou; teat TtpoaeveyKWv rw 0£ti>, 5ta rou ptvcpou ttaaav rr|v apoupav euAoyer ourto kou 6 Xpraroc; k. r. X. (t. 
ii. 450. C.)” Neander. 

431 5iaa£. Erasm . propter te, Ben .pro te, but this would be uttep aou, as below where this benefit is mentioned, 
ujtep rou K£Krr|p£vou. 

432 airtai TtAeove^fac;. Edd. from E. irapouiy ra 5e EvrauSa itav rouvavrtov. “make them forward and im- 
pudent. But here all is just the reverse.” Below, d><; ettcova (3a51^ovra rou A(3p. in the sense above expressed, as 
if it had been (3a5t^ouaav. E. has ei<; for cop, “walking after the likeness:” and Sav. marg, £i<; oivcov (3a5. p£ra rov 
’A(3p. “walking into his house after (the manner of) Abraham.” 


223 



Homily XVIII on Acts vii. 54. 


shine out the brighter through the simplicity of manners. How pleasant to go forth and 
enter into the House of God, and to know that one built it himself: to fling himself on his 

A'X'X 

back in his litter, and after the bodily benefit of his pleasant airing, be present both at the 
evening and the morning hymns, have the priest as a guest at his table, in associating with 
him enjoy his benediction, see others also coming thither! This is a wall for his field, this its 
security. This is the field of which it is said, “The smell of a full field which the Lord hath 
blessed.” (Gen. xxvii. 27.) If, even without this, the country is pleasant, because it is so quiet, 
so free from distraction of business, what will it not be when this is added to it? The country 
with a Church is like the Paradise of God. No clamor there, no turmoil, no enemies at vari- 
ance, no heresies: there you shall see all friends, holding the same doctrines in common. 
The very quiet shall lead thee to higher views, and receiving thee thus prepared by philosophy, 
the presbyter shall give thee an excellent cure. For here, whatever we may speak, the noise 
of the market drives it all out: but there, what thou shalt hear, thou wilt keep fixed in thy 
mind. Thou wilt be quite another man in the country through him: and moreover to the 
people there he will be director, he will watch over them both by his presence and by his 
influence in forming their manners. And what, I ask, would be the cost? Make for a beginning 
a small house (sv ra^ei vaou) to serve as temple. Thy successor will build a porch, his suc- 
cessor will make other additions, and the whole shall be put to thy account. Thou givest 
little, and receivest the reward for the whole. At any rate, make a beginning: lay a foundation. 
Exhort one another, vie one with another in this matter. But now, where there is straw and 


433 KOii p& 178’4>ai eaurov uimov Kai pera rfiv ai& 240-pav rijv awpariKr|v Kai Auxvikou; Kai ewSivou; 
upvon; TtapayeveaSai. This passage has perplexed scribes and editors. Al& 240’pa “a swing, swinging bed, 
hammock,” or, as here, “litter,” or rather, “a swinging in such a conveyance: after the swinging motion in his 
litter, pleasant and healthful for the body.” The meaning is: “without fatigue, lying at his ease on his back, he is 
borne to Church in his litter, and after this wholesome enjoyment for the body, gets good for his soul, in attending 
at evening and morning prayer. Ben. seipsumque projicere supinum, etpost illam corpoream quietem: as if it related 
to taking rest in his bed, which is inconsistent with the scope of the description. Erasmus, et quiescere “in villa” 
securum, et habere “ deambulationem ” servientem corpori, “to sleep securely ‘in his villa,’ and to ‘take a walk’ 
which is good for the body.” Neander simply, und sich niederzuwerfen , “to prostrate himself,” (viz. on entering 
the Church) — overlooking both uitriovand od& 240'pav awp. Of the mss. A., for Kai p& 178’i|iai k. t. X. substitutes, 
Kai pera rpocpriv awp. “and after taking food for the body.” C. ex corr. gives ewavfor ai& 240’pav, F. wpav, Sav. 
marg. “wpaval. ewav:” both unmeaning: N. wpav with two letters erased before it; and B. Kai pera rr]v evdrr|v 
wpav rrjc; awpariKfjc peraAa(3eiv rpocpfjc; Kai ev Auxv., “and after the ninth hour to partake of the food for the 
body, and to attend at evening and morning hymns:” quce lectio non spernenda videtur,’ Ben. On the contrary, 
it is both needless and unsuitable, for the repast is mentioned afterwards. The “hymns” are the ipaApoc; emAuxviot; 
s. Avxvikoc, ad incensum lucernce, which was Psalm cxli. iJiaApoi; ew0ivo<;, Psalm lxiii. St. Chrysost. in Psalm 
cxl. and Constit. Apost. ii. 59, viii. 37. 


224 


Homily XVIII on Acts vii. 54. 


grain and such like to be stored, you make no difficulty of building: but for a place where 
the fruits of souls may be gathered in, we bestow not a thought; and the people are forced 
to go miles and miles, and to make long journeys, that they may get to Church! Think, how 
good it is, when with all quietness the priest presents himself in the Church, that he may 
draw near unto God, and say prayers for the village, day by day, and for its owner! Say, is it 
a small matter, that even in the Holy Oblations evermore thy name is included in the prayers, 
and that for the village day by day prayers are made unto God? — How greatly this profits 
thee for all else! It chances 434 that certain (great) persons dwell in the neighborhood, and 
have overseers: now to thee, being poor, one of them will not deign even to pay a visit: but 
the presbyter, it is likely, he will invite, and make him sit at his table. How much good results 
from this! The village will in the first place be free from all evil suspicion. None will charge 
it with murder, with theft: none will suspect anything of the kind. — They have also another 
comfort, if sickness befall, if death. — Then again the friendships formed there by people as 
they go side by side (to and from the Church) are not struck up at random and promiscu- 
ously: and the meetings there are far more pleasant than those which take place in marts 
and fairs. The people themselves also will be more respectable, because of their presbyter. 
How is it you hear that Jerusalem was had in honor in the old times above all other cities? 
Why was this? Because of the then prevailing religion. Therefore it is that where God is 
honored, there is nothing evil: as, on the contrary, where He is not honored, there is nothing 
good. It will be great security both with God and with men. Only, I beseech you, that ye be 
not remiss: only may you put your hand to this work. For if he who brings out “the precious 
from the vile,” shall be “as the mouth of God” (Jer. xv. 19); he who benefits and recovers so 
many souls, both that now are and that shall be even until the coming of Christ, what favor 
shall not that person reap from God! Raise thou a garrison against the devil: for that is what 
the Church is. Thence as from headquarters let the hands go forth to work: first let the 
people hold them up for prayers, and then go their way to work. So shall there be vigor of 


434 EupfSarvei tiv&c ek yEirovarv oiKelv Kai ETnrpoitouq e'xetv. Sav. marg. Aiyeiv. The meaning is not clearly 
expressed, but it seems to be this; “It chances that some important personage has an estate in your neighborhood, 
and occasionally resides there. His overseer informs him of your Church: he sends for your presbyter, invites 
him to his table, gains from him such information about your village, as he would never have acquired otherwise; 
for he thinks it beneath him even to call upon you. In this way, however, he learns that yours is a well-ordered 
village: and should any crime be committed in that part of the country by unknown persons no suspicion even 
will light upon your people; no troublesome inquisition will be held, no fine or penalty levied on your estate.” 
The v. 1. Aiyeiv cannot be the true reading, but something of this sort must be supplied: ot Kai Aiyouatv aura). 
It seems also that something is wanting between tivck; and ek yeir. e.g. rtvcu; ek rwv 5uvara)repa)v ek yetr. 
otKelv. J oAax; ei oura> ttoieu; pq notrjaqq. Ben. Si omnino id facias, ne facias tamen. Neander, Wenn du so 
handelst, wirst du nichts thun, as if it were ou Ttoitjaeu;. 


225 


Homily XVIII on Acts vii. 54. 


body; so shall the tillage be abundant; so shall all evil be kept aloof. It is not possible to rep- 
resent in words the pleasure thence arising, until it be realized. Look not to this, that it brings 
in no revenue: if 435 thou do it at all in this spirit, then do it not at all; if thou account not 
the revenue thou gettest thence greater than from the whole estate beside; if thou be not 
thus affected, then let it alone; if thou do not account this work to stand thee more in stead 
than any work beside. What can be greater than this revenue, the gathering in of souls into 
the threshing-floor which is in heaven! Alas, that ye know not how much it is, to gain souls! 
Hear what Christ says to Peter, “Feed My sheep.” (Johnxxi. 15-17.) If, seeing the emperor’s 
sheep, or herd of horses, by reason of having no fold or stable, exposed to depredation, thou 
wert to take them in hand, and build a fold or stables, or also provide a shepherd or herdsman 
to take charge of them, what would not the emperor do for thee in return? Now, thou 
gatherest the flock of Christ, and puttest a shepherd over them, and thinkest thou it is no 
great gain thou art earning? But, if for offending even one, a man shall incur so great a 
punishment, how can he that saves so many, ever be punished? What sin will he have 
thenceforth? for, though he have it, does not this blot it out? From the punishment threatened 
to him that offends, learn the reward of him that saves. Were not the salvation of even one 
soul a matter of great importance, to offend would not move God to so great anger. Knowing 
these things, let us apply ourselves forthwith to this spiritual work. And let each invite me, 
and we will together help to the best of our ability. If there be three joint-owners, let them 
do it by each bearing his part: if but one, he will induce the others also that are near. Only 
be earnest to effect this, I beseech you, that in every way being well-pleasing unto God, we 
may attain unto the eternal blessings, by the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ with 
Whom to the Father and the Holy Ghost together be glory, dominion, and honor, now and 
ever world without end. Amen. 


435 oAux; ei outgo tgoieTi; [rf] Ttoifjaric. Ben. Si omnino id facias, ne facias tamen. Neander, Wettn du so handelst, 
wirst du nichts thun, as if it were ou roifjacu;. 


226 


Homily XIX on Acts viii. 26, 27. 


Homily XIX. 

Acts VIII. 26, 27 

“And. the Angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, arise and go toward the south unto the 
way thatgoeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went. ” 

It seems to me, this 436 (Philip) was one of the seven; for from Jerusalem he would not 
have gone southwards, but to the north; but from Samaria it was “towards the south. The 
same is desert:” so that there is no fear of an attack from the Jews. And he did not ask, 
Wherefore? but “arose and went. And, behold,” it says, “a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of 
great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her 
treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot 
read Esaias the prophet.” (v. 27, 28.) High encomiums for the man, that he, residing in 
Ethiopia and beset with so much business, and when there was no festival going on, and 
living in that superstitious city, came “to Jerusalem for to worship.” Great also is his studi- 
ousness, that even “sitting in his chariot he read. And,” it says, “the Spirit said unto Philip, 
Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him 
reading the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, 
How can I, except some man should guide me?” (v. 29-31.) Observe again his piety; that 
though he did not understand, he read, and then after reading, examines. “And he desired 
Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the Scripture which he read 
was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, 
so opened He not His mouth: in His humiliation His judgment was taken away: and who 


436 So all the mss. and the Catena: except E. which having already made Chrys. affirm that Philip was one of 
the seven, supra, p. 1 15, and note 1, gives a different turn to this passage. “It seems to me, that he received this 
command while in Samaria: because from Jerusalem one does not go southward, but to the north: but from 
Samaria it is to the south.” An unnecessary comment; for it would hardly occur to any reader of the Acts to 
suppose that Philip had returned to Jerusalem. 

437 “Behold, an eunuch (comp. p. 122, note 4), a barbarian — both circumstances calculated to make him in- 
disposed to study — add to this, his dignified station and opulence: the very circumstance of his being on a 
journey, and riding in a chariot: for to a person travelling in this way, it is not easy to attend to reading, but on 
the contrary very troublesome: yet his strong desire and earnestness set aside all these hindrances,” etc. Horn, 
in Gen. xxxv. §1. Throughout the exposition of the history of the eunuch there given (t. iv. p. 350-352) he is 
called a barbarian: so in the tenth of the “Eleven Homilies,” §5, t. xii. 393, 394, he is called a “barbarian,” and 
“alien,” aAAo<puA.o<;, but also “a Jew:” aXK oux 6 (3ap(3apo<; tore ekeTvoc; raura elite (viz. excuses for delaying 
baptism) Kai raura ’iouSaloi; wv k. t. X. i.e. as Matthai explains in 1., “a Jewish proselyte.” — Both expositions 
should be compared with this in the text. 


227 


Homily XIX on Acts viii. 26, 27. 


shall declare His generation? for His life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered 
Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some 
other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same Scripture, and preached 
unto him Jesus.” (v. 32-35.) Observe how it is Providentially ordered. First he reads and 
does not understand; then he reads the very text in which was the Passion and the Resurrec- 
tion and the Gift. “And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the 
eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?” (v. 36.) Mark the eager 
desire, mark the exact knowledge. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and 
they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And 
when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that 
the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.” (v. 38, 39.) But why did 
the Spirit of the Lord bear him away? (Hereby) the occurrence was shown to be more won- 
derful. Even then, the eunuch did not know him. Consequently this was done, that Philip 
might afterwards be a subject of wonder to him. 439 “For,” it says, “he went on his way re- 
joicing. But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, 
till he came to Caesarea.” (v. 40.) This (Philip, therefore) was one of the seven; for there in 
fact he is afterwards found at Caesarea. It was well and expedient therefore that the Spirit 
caught Philip away; else the eunuch would have desired to go with him, 440 and Philip would 
have grieved him by declining to comply with his request, the time being not yet come, (a) 
But 441 at the same time here was an encouraging assurance for them that they shall also 
prevail over the heathen: for 442 indeed the high character (to a^ionicrrov) of the (first) be- 

438 aKpifieiav. Below, opac on ra Soypata dmqpTiapEva eix£- The 37th verse (Philip’s answer and the Eunuch’s 
confession) seems to have been absent from St. Chrysostom’ copy (unless indeed it is implied in the passage 
just cited). It is found in Laud’s Gr. and Lat. copy of the Acts, part is cited by St. Irenaeus, p. 196. and part by St. 
Cypr. p. 318, but unknown to the other ancient authorities. 

439 wore ouv uorepov aurov 0aupaa0rjvai, touto eyevETO: i.e. as below, the eunuch saw that it was the work 
of God: it was done in order that he might not think on av0pWTto<; tonv anXC !><;. — Edd. from E. “Why, it may 
be asked, did the Spirit of the Lord carry Philip away? Because he was to pass through other cities, and to preach 
the Gospel. Consequently this was done, etc. that he might not think what had happened to him was of man, 
but of God.” 

440 auvomsAOeTv (CEc. aupTtapeABelv) aura. As there is no aurov, the meaning seems to be as above expressed, 
not, “would have desired Philip to go with him.” 

441 What follows is confused in the mss. and Edd., by transposition of the portions of text here marked a, b; 
and c, d: the order in the mss. being b, a, d. c, e. 

442 Kai yap to twv luaTEUOvrwv d^toiuarov kavov aurouq apar el 5e ETtepeivev (B. eitepevov) ekeT, itoTov 
to EyKAqpa; Meaning, perhaps, that the character and station of such converts as the eunuch would weigh much 
with their countrymen (tout; dAAocpuAoui;). Though if the eunuch had stayed behind in Judea, who could have 


228 


Homily XIX on Acts viii. 26, 27. 


lievers was enough to move them. If however the eunuch had stayed there, what fault could 
have been found? [But he knew him not] : for this is why it says, “he went on his way re- 
joicing:” so that had he known him, he would not have been (so) delighted. 

“And the Angel of the Lord,” etc. (Recapitulation, v. 26.) ( b ) See Angels assisting the 
preaching, and not themselves preaching, but calling these (to the work). But the wonderful 
nature of the occurrence is shown also by this: that what of old was rare, and hardly done, 
here takes place with ease, 443 and see with what frequency! (c) “An eunuch,” it says, “a man 
of great authority, under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians.” 444 (v. 27.) For there women 
bore rule of old, and this was the law among them. Philip did not yet know for whose sake 
he had come into the desert: ( d ) but 445 what was there to hinder his learning all (these par- 
ticulars) accurately, while in the chariot? “Was reading the prophet Esaias.” (v. 28.) For the 
road was desert, and there was no display in the matter. Observe also at what time: in the 
most violent heat (of the day). ( e ) “And the Spirit said unto him.” (v. 29.) Not now the An- 
gel 446 but the Spirit urges him. Why is this? “Then,” the vision took place, in grosser form, 
through the Angel, for this is for them that are more of the body, but the Spirit is for the 


blamed him? — The modern text:“ — sufficient to persuade the learners to be roused up themselves also to the 
same zeal.” 

443 euxepcoq, opa pe0’ oarjc; a<p0ovfa<;. Cat. The mss. omit euxepwq. He means, angelic manifestations. 

444 It is probable that this eunuch was an Ethiopian by birth and a Jewish proselyte. It was customary for 
such foreign proselytes, as well as for Jewish non-residents, to go up to Jerusalem to worship. Others suppose 
him to have been a Jew, resident in Ethiopia; but he is designated as “an Ethiopian.” The fact that those in his 
condition were not admitted to full standing in the congregation of Israel (Deut. xxiii. 1) is not a sufficient 
reason for the opinion of Meyer that this man must have been an uncircumcised heathen — a “proselyte of the 
gate,” since he could occupy the same relation as native Jews in his condition. Ethiopia lay to the S. of Egypt and 
Candace was queen of Meroe, the northern portion of the country. Eunuchs not only served as keepers of the 
harem but sometimes, as here, as royal treasurers. — G.B.S. 

445 ti 5e EKtoAuaev ttavra autov aKpifStlx; pa0£lv Kai ev rw oxfjpart ovta; Kai yap eprjpcx; n v Kai ouk ijv to 
Ttpaypa emSei^u;. We conjecture the first clause to be meant as the answer to an objection: How should Philip 
know all these particulars? It may indeed relate to the eunuch’s accurate knowledge (axpifteia) above mentioned, 
note 1. The latter part, however, seems to belong to v. 28 to which the Catena refers the mention of the 
XaA.£Ttd)raTOv Kaupa. — Edd. (from E. alone), “Pray what hindered, say you, that he should learn all, even when 
in the chariot, and especially in the desert? Because the matter was not one of display. But let us look over again 
what has been read. And behold,” etc. 

446 apTtd^Et: but this, derived from v. 39 is not the right word here. — This, with the clause immediately pre- 
ceding in the mss., is thus altered by the innovator (E. Edd.): “So little did P. know (ourux; 0UKrj5ei $.) for whose 
sake he was come into the desert: because also (otl Kai, F. D. o0£v) not now an Angel, but the Spirit bears him 
away. But the eunuch sees none of these things, being as yet not fully initiated (dreAr];;, imperfectus Ben.); or 

229 


Homily XIX on Acts viii. 26, 27. 


more spiritual. And how did He speak to him? Of course, suggested it to him. Why does 
not the Angel appear to the other, and bring him to Philip? Because it is likely he would not 
have been persuaded, but rather terrified. Observe the wisdom of Philip: he did not accuse 
him, not say, “I know these things exactly:” did not pay court to him, and say, “Blessed art 
thou that readest.” But mark his speech, how far it is from harshness alike and from adulation; 
the speech rather of a kind and friendly man. “Understandest thou what thou readest?” (v. 
30.) For it was needful that he should himself ask, himself have a longing desire. He plainly 
intimates, that he knows that the other knew nothing: and says, “Understandest thou what 
thou readest?” at the same time he shows him that great was the treasure that lay therein. 
It tells well also, that the eunuch looked not to the outward appearance (axopa) (of the 
man), said not, “Who art thou?” did not chide, not give himself airs, not say that he did 
know. On the contrary, he confesses his ignorance: wherefore also he learns. He shows his 
hurt to the physician: sees at a glance, that he both knows the matter, and is willing to teach. 
Look 447 how free he is from haughtiness; the outward appearance announced nothing 
splendid. So desirous was he of learning, and gave heed to his words; and that saying, “He 
that seeketh, findeth,” (Matt. vii. 8.) was fulfilled in him. “And,” it says, “he besought Philip, 
that he would come up and sit with him.” (v. 31.) Do you mark the eagerness, the longing 
desire? But should any say he ought to have waited for Philip (to speak), (the answer is), he 
does not know what is the matter: he could not in the least tell what the other was going to 
say to him, but supposed merely that he was about to receive some (lesson of) prophecy. 
And moreover, this was more respectful, that he did not draw him into his chariot, but be- 
sought him. “And Philip,” we have read, “ran to him, and heard him reading;” even the fact 
of his running, showed 448 that he wished to say (something). “And the place,” it says, “of 

because also these things are not for the more bodily, but for the more spiritual: nor indeed does he learn the 
things which Philip is fully taught (eK5i5daK£tai).” 

447 v l5£T£(i'5£ B.) to (tov N.) arucpov- ou5ev Aapitpov £it£<p£p£TO axnpa. Read to axnpot.— E. D. F. Edd., E15 e 
and ou5e yap. Vidit ilium esse a fastu alienum: neque enim splendidum gestabat vestitum. Ben. and similarly 
Erasm. as if the meaning were, “the eunuch saw there was no pride in Philip, for he had no splendid clothing.” 
But it is the eunuch in whom this (to cttutpov) is praised, (see below, §4 itiit.) that he did not disdain Philip for 
the meanness of his appearance: comp. Horn, in Gen. xxxv. §2. “For when the Apostle {supra, p. 115, note 1) 
had said, “Knowest thou,” and came up to him in mean attire (pera eutcAouc; axnpo(TO<;), the eunuch did not 
take it amiss, was not indignant, did not think himself insulted. . . . but he, the man in great authority, the barbar- 
ian, the man riding in a chariot, besought him, the person of mean appearance, who might for his dress have 
easily been despised, to come up and sit with him,” etc. 

448 eSeIkvu (3ouA.6pevov eiitelv. This seems meant to explain why the eunuch at once besought Philip to 
come up into the chariot: his running showed that he wished to say something. — E. Edd. “was a sign of his 
wishing to speak, and the reading (a sign) of his studiousness. For he was reading at a time when the sun makes 
the heat more violent.” ^ The rendering of r| 5e TtEpiox) Trj<; ypacpfjc; given in the text (A.V.) is also that of the 

230 


Homily XIX on Acts viii. 26, 27. 


the Scripture which he read was this: As a sheep He was led to the slaughter.” 449 (v. 32.) 
And this circumstance, also, is a token of his elevated mind, (cpiAoaocpiac;) that he had in 
hand this prophet, who is more sublime than all others. Philip does not relate matters to 
him just as it might happen, but quietly: nay, does not say anything until he is questioned. 
Both in the former instance he prayed him, and so he does now, saying, “I pray thee of whom 
speaketh the prophet this?” That 450 he should at all know either that the Prophets speak in 
different ways about different persons, or that they speak of themselves in another per- 
son — the question betokens a very thoughtful mind. 451 Let us be put to shame, both poor 
and rich, by this eunuch. Then, it says, “they came to a certain water, and he said, Lo, here 
is water.” (v. 36.) Again, of his own accord he requests, saying, “What doth hinder me to be 
baptized?” And see again his modesty: he does not say, Baptize me, neither does he hold his 
peace; but he utters somewhat midway betwixt strong desire and reverent fear, saying, “What 
doth hinder me?” Do you observe that he has the doctrines (of faith) perfect? For indeed 
the Prophet had the whole, Incarnation, Passion, Resurrection, Ascension, Judgment to 
come. And if he shows exceeding earnestness of desire, do not marvel. Be ashamed, all ye 
as many as are unbaptized. “And,” it says, “he commanded the chariot to stand still.” (v. 


R. V. Another interpretation is preferred by many scholars: “the content of the Scripture” (ypacpf] being used in 
the limited sense of the particular passage in question). This view harmonizes with the derivation of itepioxq 
(Ttepi-exetv) meaning an enclosure, or that which is enclosed. Tpacptj is also used in the limited sense in v. 35 
(So, Meyer, Hackett, and Thayer’s Lex.) 

449 The rendering of f| 5e Tteptoxq rfR ypoccpfjc; given in the text (A.V.) is also that of the R. V. Another inter- 
pretation is preferred by many scholars: “the content of the Scripture” (ypacpt) being used in the limited sense 
of the particular passage in question). This view harmonizes with the derivation of itepioxq (Ttepi-exeiv) meaning 
an enclosure, or that which is enclosed, rpacprj is also used in the limited sense in v. 35 (So, Meyer, Hackett, and 
Thayer’s Lex.) 

450 "H (N. om. Cat. to) oA.uk; eiSevat on aAAtoq Kai (om. C.) itepi aAAwv Aeyouaiv oi Ttpocpfjrat, rj on k. t. 
A. A. B. C. Cat. We read, to oAux; eiSevat fj.. . .But the modern text: “It seems to me that he knew not that the 
prophets speak of other persons: or if not this, he was ignorant that they discourse concerning themselves in 
another person;” omitting the last clause, atpoSpa £7t£OK£pp£vou (Cat. 7t£pt£OK£pp£vq) q epdAqou;. — In the next 
sentence B. has retained the true reading, EKTOplav, for which the rest have Taplav. N. Tapiclav. 

451 The eunuch must have heard much said about Jesus at Jerusalem for he had been crucified but five or six 
years before. In this time of persecution and excitement, discussions would be rife concerning the Christian 
interpretation of prophecy. The eunuch seems to have heard two theories concerning the prophecies (e.g. Is. 
liii.) relating to the “Servant of Jehovah,” one that the prophet was speaking of the Messiah (whom the Christians 
asserted Jesus to be) and the other that the prophet spoke concerning himself in these prophecies, an opinion 
not wholly abandoned in modern times. The eunuch’s sudden conversion presupposes prolonged consideration 
of the claims of Jesus to be the Messiah and a keen interest in religious truth. — G.B.S. 


231 


Homily XIX on Acts viii. 26, 27. 


38.) He spoke, and gave the order at the same moment, before hearing (Philip’s answer). 
“And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip;” 
(v. 39) in order that the occurrence might be shown to be of God; that he might not consider 
it to be merely man. “And he went,” it says, “on his way rejoicing.” (P. 121, note 2.) This 
hints, that he would have been grieved had he known: for the greatness of his joy, having 
had the Spirit also vouchsafed to him, he did not even see things present — “But Philip was 
found at Azotus.” (v. 40.) Great was the gain to Philip also: — that which he heard concerning 
the Prophets, concerning Habakkuk, concerning Ezekiel, and the rest, he saw done in his 
own person. (Bel. & Dr. v. 36; Ez. iii. 12.) Thence it appears that he went a long distance, 
seeing he “was found at Azotus.” (The Spirit) set him there, where he was thenceforth to 
preach: “And passing through, he preached in all the cities, until he came to Caesarea.” 
“And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, 
went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that 
if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound 
unto Jerusalem.” (ch. ix. 1, 2.) He fitly mentions Paul’s zeal, and shows that in the very midst 
of his zeal he is drawn. “Yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter,” and not yet sated 
with the murder of Stephen, he was not yet glutted with the persecution of the Church, and 
the dispersion. Lo, this was fulfilled which was spoken by Christ, that “they which kill you 
shall think they offer worship to God.” (John xvi. 2.) He then in this wise did it, not as the 
Jews: God forbid! For that he did it through zeal, is manifest from his going abroad even to 
strange cities: whereas they would not have cared even for those in Jerusalem; they were for 
one thing only, to enjoy honor. But why went he to Damascus? It was a great city, a royal 
city: he was afraid lest that should be preoccupied. And observe his strong desire and ardor 
(and), how strictly according to the Law he went to work: he goes not to the governor, but 
“to the priest. That if he found any of this way:” for so the believers were called, probably 
because of their taking the direct way that leads to heaven. And why did he not receive au- 
thority to have them punished there, but brings them to Jerusalem! He did these things here 
with more authority. And mark on what a peril he casts himself. He 452 was not afraid lest 


452 Edd. “on what danger casting himself, still even so he is afraid lest he should suffer some harm. This is 
the reason why he takes others with him, probably to rid himself of his fear: or also, because they were many 
against whom he was going, he takes many, in order that the more boldly, whomsoever he should find, both 
men and women,” etc. Just the opposite to C.’s meaning: viz. “It is not to be supposed, because he took many 
with him, that he had any fears for himself: he was above all such regards. The fact is, he wished to show them 
all (both the Jews at Jerusalem, and the companions of his journey), how they ought to act:” 5ta rrj<; o5ou Ttaatv 
ocutok; 5eT^at e(3ouA.ero. C. however has ttaatv aurou, N. Ttaatv aurout;, meaning: “by means of his journey, he 
wished to show them (the Christians bound) to all.” Perhaps the true reading is aurou rf]v ttpoBuplav, or the 
like. E. D. F. Edd. “Especially as by means of the journey he wished to show them all (ttaatv adroit;), that all 
depended on him (aurou to ttav ov).” 


232 


Homily XIX on Acts viii. 26, 27. 


he should take any harm, but (yet) he took others also with him, “that if,” it says, “he found 
any of this way, whether they were men or women” — Oh, the ruthlessness! — “he might 
bring them bound.” By this journey of his, he wished to show them all (how he would act): 
so far were they from being earnest in this matter. Observe him also casting (people) into 
prison before this. The others therefore did not prevail: but this man did prevail, by reason 
of his ardent mind. “And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there 
shined round about him a light from heaven: and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice 
saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?” (v. 3, 4.) Why not in Jerusalem? 
why not in Damascus? That there might be no opening for different persons to relate the 
occurrence in different ways, but that he alone should be the authentic narrator (a^iomaroc;), 
he that 453 went for this purpose. In fact, he says this [both in his oration on the stairs], and 
when pleading before Agrippa. “Fell to the earth”: (ch. xxii, 6: xxvi. 12) for excess of light is 
wont to shock, because the eyes have their measure: it is said also that excess of sound makes 
people deaf and stunned (as in a fit) (dTroTrAfi'yac;). But 454 him it only blinded, and extin- 
guished his passion by fear, so that he should hear what was spoken. “Saul, Saul,” saith He, 
“why persecutest thou me?” And He tells him nothing: does not say, Believe, nor anything 
whatever of the kind: but expostulates with him, all but saying, What wrong, great or small, 
hast thou suffered from Me, that thou doest these things? “And he said, Who art Thou 
Lord?” (v. 5) thus in the first place confessing himself His servant. “And the Lord said, I am 
Jesus, whom thou persecutest:” think not thy warring is with men. 455 And they which were 

453 6 5ta touto anitov: i.e. who would have a right to be believed, because it was known that he left Jerusalem 
for the purpose of persecuting. Had it taken place in Jerusalem or in Damascus, some would have given one 
account of the matter, some another — as, in the case of our Lord, when the voice came to Him from heaven at 
Jerusalem, “some said it thundered, some that an Angel spake to Him,” (so Chrys. explains below, p. 125) — but, 
happening in the way it did, the person most interested in it, and who by this very thing was caused to take so 
momentous a step, was the authentic narrator; i.e. the story was to come from him, as the only competent au- 
thority: aXX auroc a^iOTtiaroc r|v Sirpyoupevoc; (so Cat.; C., r|v 5ir|Yfjaaa0ai: the other mss. fiStriyoupevot;) 6 
5ta touto dntidiv Infra, p. 125, outoc 5e d^iOTuaTOt; f|v dTtayyEAAwv paAAov ra eauTOu. — In the next sentence, 
Touto youv Aiyet, Kai itpoc; ’Ayplintav omoA-oyoupevoc;, something seems wanting before Kai, as supplied in the 
translation: but also both before and after these words: e.g. For the men which were with him, heard not the 
voice, and were amazed and overpowered. In fact, he says this in his oration on the stairs, “They heard not the 
voice of Him that spake to me,” and when pleading before Agrippa, he says, “And when we were all fallen to 
the ground, I heard a voice.” etc. 

454 ’AXXa toutov povov ETtrjpwae: may be rendered, They all saw the light, but it blinded only Paul: — or, 
Him however it only blinded, did not cast him into insensibility, but left him otherwise in possession of his 
faculties. 

455 The remainder of the verse and the first part of v. 6 to Ttpoc; aurov, were absent from Chrysostom’s copy 
(and Cat. CEc. Theoph.) as from Codd. A. B. C. (of New Test.) and Laud’s Gr. and Lat. of Acts: but the last have 

233 


Homily XIX on Acts viii. 26, 27. 


with him heard the voice of Paul, but saw no person to whom he answered — for (the Lord) 
suffered them to be hearers of what was less important. Had they heard the other Voice, 
they would not have believed; but perceiving Paul answering (some person), they marvelled. 
“But arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” (v. 6.) Observe, 
how He does not immediately add all, but first softens his mind. In the same way He called 
the disciples also a second time. 456 “It shall be told thee,” etc.: He gives him good hopes, 
and (intimates) that he shall recover his sight also. “And the men which j ourneyed with him 
stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and 
when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him 
into Damascus” (v. 7, 8): — the spoils of the devil (ra (JK£ur| aurou), “his goods” (Matt. xiii. 
29), as from some city, yea, some metropolis which has been taken. And the wonder of it 
is, the enemies and foes themselves brought him in, in the sight of all! “And for three days 
he neither did eat nor drink, being blinded.” (v. 9.) What could equal this? To compensate 
the discouragement in the matter of Stephen, here is encouragement, in the bringing in of 
Paul: though that sadness had its consolation in the fact of Stephen’s making such an end, 
yet it also received this further consolation: moreover, the bringing in of the villages of the 
Samaritans afforded very great comfort. — But why did this take place not at the very first, 
but after these things? That it might be shown that Christ was indeed risen. This furious 
assailant of Christ, the man who would not believe in His death and resurrection, the perse- 
cutor of His disciples, how should this man have become a believer, had not the power of 
His resurrection been great indeed? Be it so, that the other Apostles favored (His preten- 
sions 457 ): what say you to this man? Why then not immediately after His resurrection? That 

the clause, OKA.r|p6v aoi it. K. X. after Sicokeu;, v. 4. St. Hit. omits the clause durum est, etc. but has, tremens et 
pavens, etc. — “The voice of Paul:” Didymus in Cat. gives this as Chrysostom’s solution of the seeming contradiction 
between this statement and that of St. Paul in xxii. 9. “In the first narrative, they heard Paul’s voice, saying, Who 
art thou, Lord? But saw no man save Paul: in the second, they saw the light, but did not hear the voice of the 
Lord.” 

456 ourw kou rout; potGrytaq ekcc Xeaev ek Seurepou (Cat. and Sav. marg. join ek 5. to the next sentence). The 
meaning is: As here, there is an interval between the conversion of Saul, and Christ’s announcement of the 
purpose for which he was called (which in Acts xxvi. 15, 16 are put together as if all was said at the same time), 
so in the case of the disciples, Andrew, John, and Simon, there was a first call, related in John i.; then after a 
while, Christ called them a second time, (see Horn, in Matt. xiv. §2) namely, to be fishers of men, Matt. iv. In 
both cases there was an interval, during which he and they were prepared for the further revelation of His will 
concerning them. The mod. t. (E. Edd.) omits this clause, and substitutes, Kal 51 d>v itapaKeAeuerat aurov itotelv 
itapaxpfjfi 01 K - 1 . X. “And by what He bids him do, straightway gives him.” etc. 

457 ’'Earto ekeTvoi autu) Exapl^ovro. Horn, in illud, Saulus adhuc spirans, etc. §5, t. iii. p. 105. “But shameless 
objectors may say (of Peter), that because he was Christ’s disciple, because he had been partaker at His table, 
had been with Him three years, had been under His teaching, had been deluded and cajoled by Him (£KoA.aK£u0r| 

234 


Homily XIX on Acts viii. 26, 27. 


his hostility might be more clearly shown as open war. The man who is so frantic as even 
to shed blood and cast men into prisons, all at once believes! It was not enough that he had 
never been in Christ’s company: the believers must be warred upon by him with vehement 
hostility: he left to none the possibility of going beyond him in fury: none of them all could 

A r q 

be so violent. But when he was blinded, then he saw the proofs of His sovereignty and 
loving kindness: then he answers, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” that none may 
say that he played the hypocrite, he that was even eager for blood, and went to the priests, 
and flung himself upon such dangers, in persecuting and bringing to punishment even them 
that were in foreign parts — under these circumstances he now acknowledges His sovereignty. 
And why was he shone upon by that light not within the city, but before it? The many would 
not have believed, since even there (at Jerusalem when the people heard the voice which 
came from above, they said that “it thundered” (John xii. 29, supra, note 2, p. 123); but this 
man was authority enough in reporting what was his own affair. And bound he was brought 
in, though not with bonds upon him: and they drew him, who had expected to draw the 
others. “And he eat not, neither drank:” he condemned himself for the past, he confessed, 
prayed, besought God. But should any say, This was the effect of compulsion: (we answer) 
The same thing happened to Elymas: then how came it that he was not changed? (ch. xiii. 
de Laud. Pauli Horn. iv. §1, t. ii. p. 491.) What (evidence) could be more compulsory than 
the earthquake at the Resurrection, the report of the soldiers, the other miracles, the seeing 
Himself risen? But these things do not compel (belief) they are calculated to teach (it) (ouk 
dvayKacrriKd aAAa SiSavaiKd). Why did not the Jews believe when they were told of these 
things? That he spoke truth was manifest: for he would not have been changed, had this not 
happened; so that all were bound to believe. He was not inferior to them that preached the 
Resurrection, and was more credible, by being all at once converted. He had no intercourse 
with any of the believers; it was at Damascus that he was converted, or rather before he came 
to Damascus that this happened to him. I ask the Jew: Say, by what was Paul converted? He 
saw so many signs, and was not converted: his teacher (Gamaliel, supra, p. 87, note 1) was 
converted, and he remained unconverted. Who convinced him — and not only convinced, 


utc’ aurou dmarri0£i<;), therefore it is that he preaches His resurrection: but when thou seest Paul, a man who 
knew Him not, had never heard Him, had never been under His teaching: a man, who even after His crucifixion 
makes war upon Him, puts to death them that believe in Him, throws all into confusion and disorder, when 
thou seest him suddenly converted, and in his toils for the Gospel outstripping the friends of Christ: what plea 
canst thou then have for thine effrontery, in disbelieving the word of the Resurrection?” 

458 ’ETtetSf) 5e enA.r|pto0r| (£7tA.r|po<popn0r|, A. om. Cat. £Jtr|pcf)0ri, E. D. F. Edd.) tfjq SeotioteIok; autou ta 
TEKprjpta Kai Tfjq cpiA.av0pwiria<; tote ditoKplvEtat (for x. a. E. D. F. Edd. yvcopl^Et, Cat. eISev)- tva (yap add 
B.) prj nq Etitt] on uttEKpivEro, 6 Kai aipartov Eiu0upu)v k. t. X. (fj Kai tva prj nq...UTC£Kp. Ifax; yap 6 Kai aip. 
etc. k. t. X. E. D. F. Edd.) We read ’ETC£t5f| 5e £7tripd)0r|,. . .tfjq <p. ei5e. Tote dm. KuptE, k. r. X. tva At) k. r. X. 


235 


Homily XIX on Acts viii. 26, 27. 


but all at once inspired him with such ardent zeal? Wherefore was it, that he wished even 
to go into hell itself 459 for Christ’s sake? The truth of the facts is manifest. 

But, as I said, for the present let us take shame to ourselves (when we think of) the eu- 
nuch, both in his baptism and his reading. Do ye mark how he was in a station of great au- 
thority, how he was in possession of wealth, and even on his journey allowed himself no 
rest? What must he have been at home, in his leisure hours, this man who rested not even 
on his travels? What must he have been at night? Ye that are in stations of dignity, hear: 
imitate his freedom from pride, 460 {de Lazaro, Cone. iii. §3, t. i. p. 748. c) his piety. Though 
about to return home, he did not say to himself: “I am going back to my country, there let 
me receive baptism;” those cold words which most men use! No need had he of signs, no 
need of miracles: from the Prophet merely, he believed. ( b ) But 461 why is it (so ordered) 


459 Aid ri Kod eic; yeevvav qu^aro dcTteAfielv uitep tou Xpiarou; The modern text substitutes, “that he wished 
even to be accursed (Rom. ix. 2.) for Christ,” See Horn, xvi, ad Rom. in 1. But Chrys. elsewhere uses as strong 
expressions as he does here. Horn. ii. in 2 Thess. §4 ou5e ri[v netpav rrjc; yeevvqq fiyelro rt eivat 5ia rov rou 
Xpiarou itoSov. And, 5ia rov rou X. itoSov, KaraSexerai kou eic yeevvav epiteaelv Kai rfjq (3aaiAela<; etoteaelv, 
(cited in the Ecloga de Laud. Paul. t. xii. p. 659, E.) 

460 to aruepov, above, p. 122, 2. Comp. x. §5. of the Eleven Homilies, t. xii. p. 393. “Admire how this man, 
barbarian as he was, and alien, and liable to be puffed up with his great authority, demeaned himself towards a 
man, poor, beggarly, unknown, whom until then he had never set eyes on.. . .If our rulers now, believers though 
they be, and taught to be humble-minded, and with nothing of the barbarian about them, meeting in the public 
place, I do not say an unknown stranger, but one whom they know, would be in no great hurry to give him a 
seat beside him (in their carriage), how came this man to condescend so much to a perfect stranger — for I will 
not cease to insist upon this — a stranger, I say, one whom he had never seen, a mean-looking person, apt to be 
despised for his appearance, as to bid him mount and sit beside him? Yet this he did, and to his tongue committed 
his salvation, and endured to put himself in the position of a learner: yea, beseeches, intreats, supplicates, saying, 
‘I pray thee, of whom saith the Prophet this?’ and receives with profound attention what he says. And not only 
so, but having received, he was not remiss, did not put off, did not say, ‘Let me get back to my own country, let 
me see my friends, my family, my kinsfolk’ — which is what many Christians say now-a-days when called to 
baptism: ‘let me get to my country, let me see my wife, let me see my children with my other kinsfolk: with them 
present, and making holiday with me, so will I enjoy the benefit of baptism, so partake of the Grace.’ But not 
these words spake he, the barbarian: Jew as he was, and trained to make strict account of places, especially with 
(the Law) ever sounding in his ears the duty of observing the Place, insomuch that he had gone a long journey 
to Jerusalem, on purpose that he might worship in the place which God commanded: and behold, all at once 
casting away all that he had been used to in this regard, and relinquishing this strict observance of place, no 
sooner is the discourse finished, and he sees a fountain by the roadside, than he says, ‘See, here is water, what 
doth hinder me to be baptized?”’ 

461 The letters (a) ( b ) denote the order of the two parts in mss. and Edd. 


236 


Homily XIX on Acts viii. 26, 27. 


that he sees (Philip) not before he goes to Jerusalem, but after he has been there? It was not 
meet that he should see the Apostles under persecution. Because 462 he was yet weak, the 
Prophet was not easy; (but yet the Prophet) catechized him. For even now, if any of you 
would apply himself to the study of the Prophets, he would need no miracles. And, if you 
please, let us take in hand the prophecy itself. “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and 
like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened He not His mouth: in His humiliation His 
judgment was taken away: and who shall declare His generation? for His life is taken from 
the earth. 463 (v. 22, 23.) It is likely he had heard that He was crucified, [and now he learns], 

462 5ta to aaBevec; en: Edd, give this to the preceding sentence, and then: 0u5 £ Ttporepov outux; f|v eukoAov, 
toe; ore 6 TtpocpqTrp; ocutov KaTtjxijaEv: “nor was it so eas y before, as (it was) when the Prophet had catechized 
him:” which is irrelevant to the question: for Philip might have found him engaged in the same study then as 
afterwards. The old text has: ouk qv euKoAoq, 6 TtpocpfjTqq yap aurov KaTtjxqaEv, but A. rightly omits yap- 
Something is wanting; e.g. either, “until Philip catechized him,” or rather, “but yet the prophet catechized him.” 
What follows is much confused in the mss. By “the prophecy itself’ Chrys. probably means more than the two 
verses given in the Acts, viz. Isai. liii. 7-12. — “It is likely he had heard that He had been crucified,” so C. D. F. 
(i.e. as appears further on, the eunuch when at Jerusalem had heard of the Crucifixion, had seen the rent in the 
rocks, etc., another reason why it was fit that he should have first visited Jerusalem:) but B., “Perhaps he had not 
heard:” and E. Edd., “Hence he learnt.” After “taken from the earth,” C. alone has, kou ta aXXa oa’ (sic) apaptlav 
ouk eitolqaev, the others, on dp. ouk £tt. after which Savile alone adds, “nor was guile found in His mouth.” 
After earaupwBq something is wanting, e.g. vuv 5e epaBev or KaujxnSn- In K< ft £ a aAAa there seems to be a 
reference to the sequel in “the prophecy itself,” viz. “and the rest which may be read in Isaiah, as that He did no 
sin,” etc. — A., as usual, omits the whole passage: E. refashions it thus; “Hence He learnt that He was crucified, 
that His life is taken away from the earth, that He did no sin, that He prevailed to save others also, that His 
generation is not to be declared, that the rocks were rent, that the veil was torn, that dead men were raised from 
the tombs: or rather, all these things Philip told him.” etc. so Edd. 

463 In the quotation the N.T. follows the LXX. (Is. liii. 7, 8), which but imperfectly renders the original. The 
meaning is obscure in Hebrew, but the best rendering is probably that of the R.V. which renders v. 8 thus: “By 
oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who among them considered that he 
was cut off out of the land of the living?” for which the LXX. and N.T. have: “In his humiliation his judgment 
was taken away: His generation who shall declare, for his life is taken from the earth.” It is almost useless to inquire 
what the LXX. translators could have meant by this rendering. Concerning the meaning of the first clause, there 
are four theories: (1) The judgment announced by His enemies was taken away, i.e., annulled by God (Bengel, 
Lechler). (2) His judicial power was taken away during his humiliation, i.e., he did not appear as men’s judge 
(Humphrey). (3) His judgment (punishment) was taken away, i.e., ended — by death (Meyer, Robinson). (4) The 
judgment due him — the rights of justice — was withheld by his enemies (Gloag, Hackett). The latter part of the 
LXX. trans.: “who shall declare,” etc., has been understood in the following ways: (1) Who shall declare his divine Son- 
ship? — the reference being to the “eternal generation” of the Son (the Patristic view). (2) Who shall declare the number 
of his spiritual seed, i.e., predict the extent of his kingdom? (the Reformers). (3) Who shall declare the wickedness of his 

237 


Homily XIX on Acts viii. 26, 27. 


that “His life is taken away from the earth,” and the rest that “He did no sin, nor deceit in 
His mouth:” that He prevailed to save others also: [and] who He is, Whose generation is 
unutterable. It is likely he had seen the riven rocks there (on the spot), and (had heard) how 
the veil was rent, and how there was darkness, and so forth: and all these things Philip 
mentioned, merely taking his text from the Prophet. It is a great thing, this reading of the 
Scriptures! That was fulfilled which was spoken by Moses, “Sitting, lying down, rising up, 
and walking, remember the Lord thy God.” (Deut. vi. 7.) For the roads, especially when they 
are lonely, give us opportunity for reflection, there being none to disturb us. Both this man 
is on the road and Paul on the road: howbeit the latter no man draws, but Christ alone. This 
was too great a work for the Apostles: and, greater still, in that, the Apostles being at Jerus- 
alem, and no person of authority at Damascus, he nevertheless returned thence converted: 
yet those at Damascus knew that he did not come from Jerusalem converted, for he brought 
letters, that he might put the believers in bonds. Like a consummate Physician, when the 
fever was at its height, Christ brought help to him: for it was needful that he should be 
quelled in the midst of his frenzy. For then most of all would he be brought down, and 
condemn himself as one guilty of dreadful audacity, (a) For these things Paul deplores 
himself, saying, “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might 
show all His long suffering.” (1 Tim. i. 13-16.) Verily one has reason to admire this eunuch. 
He did not see Christ, he saw no miracle: he beheld Jerusalem standing yet entire 
(ouveorcora): he believed Philip. How came he to behave thus? His soul was earnest 
(pepeptpvqpevq). Yet the thief (on the cross) had seen miracles: the wise men had seen a 
star; but this man, nothing of the kind. So great a thing is the careful reading of the Scriptures! 
What of Paul then! did he not study the law? But he, it seems to me, was specially reserved, 
for the purpose which I have already mentioned by anticipation, because Christ would fain 
draw to Himself the Jews by inducements from every quarter. For had they been in their 
right mind, nothing was so likely to do them good as this; for this, more than miracles and 
all else, was calculated to attract them: as, 464 on the other hand, nothing is so apt to prove 
a stumbling block to men of duller minds. See then how, after the Apostle, we have God 
also doing miracles. They accused the Apostles after these [miracles of theirs]; they cast 


contemporaries, for he was put to death (Meyer, De Wette, Lechler, Alford, Gloag). This interp. assigns to the word 
“generation,” the same meaning which the R.V. gives to it in the original passage and is the preferable view. It should be 
admitted that this is a probable theory of what the LXX. ought to have meant by the words which they used; that they 
did consciously mean this is far less certain. — G.B.S. 

464 wattep ouv ou5ev outw aKavSaAPJetv eito0£ roup ttaxurepoix;: i.e. Saul’s conversion would have weighed 
with the Jews £t vouv eixov, but it was a great stumbling-block to them as Ttaxurepot: “as indeed nothing is so 
apt to prove a stumbling-block to men of duller minds,” as this is — viz. the sudden conversion of one of their 
own party to the opposite side. 


238 


Homily XIX on Acts viii. 26, 27. 


them into prison: see thereupon God doing the miracles. For instance, the bringing them 
out of prison, was His miracle: the bringing Philip, His miracle: the bringing Paul over, was 
His. — Observe in what way Paul is honored, in what way the eunuch. There, Christ appears, 
probably because of his hardness, and because Ananias 465 would not (else) have been per- 
suaded. Conversant with these wonders, let us show ourselves worthy. But many in these 
times, even when they come to church, do not know what is read; whereas the eunuch, even 
in public (in dyopac;) and riding in his chariot, applied himself to the reading of the Scrip- 
tures. Not so you: none takes the Bible in hand: nay, everything rather than the Bible. 

Say, what are the Scriptures for? For as much as in you lies, it is all undone. What is the 
Church for? Tie up 466 the Bibles: perhaps the judgment would not be such, not such the 
punishment: if one were to bury them in dung, that he might not hear them, he would not 
so insult them as you do now. For say, what is the insult there? That the man has buried 
them. And what here? That we do not hear them. Say, when is a person most insulted — when 
he is silent, and one makes no answer, or, when he does speak (and is unheeded)? So that 
the insult is greater in the present case, when He does speak and thou wilt not hear: greater 
the contempt. “Speak not to us” (Is. xxx. 10), we read, they said of old to the Prophets: but 
ye do worse, saying, Speak: 467 we will not do. For there they turned them away that they 
should not even speak, as feeling that from the voice itself they got some sort of awe and 
obligation; whereas you, in the excess of your contempt, do not even this. Believe me, if you 
stopped our mouths by putting your hands over them, the insult would not be so great 
as it is now. For say, whether shows greater contempt, he that hears, even when hindering 
by this action, or, he that will not even hear? Say — if we shall look at it as a case of an insult 
offered — suppose one person to check the party insulting him, and to stop his mouth, as 
being hurt by the insults, and another person to show no concern, but pretend not even to 
hear them: whether will show most contempt? Would you not say the latter? For the former 


465 Kori on ouk av £TT£ia0q ’Avavtaq, A. B. C. But Edd. omit Ananias: “because he (Paul) would not otherwise 
have been persuaded.” In the next sentence, C. F. have ’Evrpecpopevot, “nurtured:” B. evcpucpiovreq, “luxuriating:” 
A. E. D. Edd. evarpecpopEvot. 

466 5i)aov. i.e. tie them up, and keep them shut. E. Edd. xaraxtoaov, “Bury.” Below, for Kai pi) (Xkouoi aurtov, 
we read tva pi). C. however has (XKOU£t, which may imply that the sentence should be joined to the preceding 
one, ou roiaurq KoAaaiq, ei riq Karaxtbaaev aura £v KOitpcp, Kai el pi) oiKouei aurtov: “not such the punishment, 
were one to bury, etc., as it is if he refuse to hear them.” 

467 All the mss. and Edd. Mi) AaAevre, “Speak not.” But the context plainly requires the sense. “Speak on, if 
you will: we will not do what you bid us:” though it should rather be, Ouk (XKOUopev. 

468 E. uptv, “your mouths,” so Edd. except Sav. and below, 6 aKouwv Kai pi) Tt£i06pevo<; paijovtoc; Karatppovel, 
where the old text has, 6 aKouwv paij. Kar. Kai 5ia rourou kcoAucov, “by this,” viz. by putting his hand on the 
speaker’s mouth. 


239 


Homily XIX on Acts viii. 26, 27. 


shows that he feels himself hit: the latter all but stops the mouth of God. Did ye shudder at 
what was said? Why, the mouth by which God speaks, is the mouth of God. Just as our 
mouth is the mouth of our soul, though the soul has no mouth, so the mouth of the 
Prophets is the mouth of God. Hear, and shudder. There, common (to the whole congrega- 
tion) stands the deacon crying aloud, and saying, “Let us attend to the reading.” It is the 
common voice of the whole Church, the voice which he utters, and yet none does attend. 
After him begins the Reader, “The Prophecy of Esaias,” and still none attends, although 
Prophecy has nothing of man in it. Then after this, he says, “Thus saith the Lord,” 469 and 
still none attends. Then after this punishments and vengeances, and still even then none 
attends. But what is the common excuse? “It is always the same things over again.” This it 
is most of all, that ruins you. Suppose you knew the things, even so you certainly ought not 
to turn away: since in the theatres also, is it not always the same things acted over again, 
and still you take no disgust? How dare you talk about “the same things,” you who know 
not so much as the names of the Prophets? Are you not ashamed to say, that this is why you 
do not listen, because it is “the same things over again,” while you do not know the names 
of those who are read, and this, though always hearing the same things? You have yourself 
confessed that the same things are said. Were I to say this as a reason for finding fault with 
you, you would need to have recourse to quite a different excuse, instead of this which is 
the very thing you find fault with. — Do not you exhort your son? Now if he should say, 
“Always the same things!” would not you count it an insult? It would be time enough to 
talk of “the same things,” when we both knew the things, and exhibited them in our practice. 
Or rather, even then, the reading of them would not be superfluous. What equal to Timothy? 
tell me that: and yet to him says Paul, “Give attention to reading, to exhortation. (1 Tim. iv. 
13.) For it is not possible, I say not possible, ever to exhaust the mind of the Scriptures. It 
is a well which has no bottom. “I said,” saith the Preacher, “I am become wise: 470 and then 
it departed from me.” — (Eccles. vii. 24.) Shall I show you that the things are not “the same?” 
How many persons, do you suppose, have spoken upon the Gospels? And yet all have spoken 
in a way which was new and fresh. For the more one dwells on them, the more insight does 
he get, the more does he behold the pure light. Look, what a number of things I am going 
to speak of: — say, what is narrative? what is prophecy? what is parable? what is type? what 


469 When the Deacon had ordered silence by proclaiming, if need were, several times, Iipooexwpev! the 
Reader commenced the Lesson, if from the Old Testament or the Gospels, with the formula, T<x5e Aiyet Kuptot;, 
“Thus saith the Lord:” (for the Epistles, with, “Dearly beloved Brethren.”) See Horn, in 2 Thess. hi. §4. p. 527. D. 

470 Entov, eaocpio0r|v, cpr|al, Kai tore anearri out’ epou. Ben. rendering the passage with Erasmus, “ Deceptus 
sum, et tunc recessit a me,” remarks. “I do not see how this agrees with what precedes.” The Paris Editor, “Novi, 
inquiunt. et turn mihi effluxit,” as if it were a proverb. In theLXX, it is, EIttoc, aocpioBfjaopai, Kaiaurri epaKpuv0r| 
out’ epou. E. V. “I said I will be wise, but it was far from me.” 


240 


Homily XIX on Acts viii. 26, 27. 


is allegory? what is symbol? what are Gospels? Answer me only to this one point, which is 
plain: why are they called Gospels, “good tidings?” And yet ye have often heard that good 
news ought to have nothing sad in it: yet this “good news” has abundance of sadness in it. 
“Their fire,” it saith, “shall never be quenched: their worm shall not die:” (Mark ix. 44.) 
“Shall appoint his portion,” it saith, “with the hypocrites,” with them that are “cut asunder: 
then shall He say, I know you not: Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matt. xxiv. 51; 
vii. 23.) Surely, 471 we do not deceive ourselves, when we imagine that we tell you in your 
own mother-tongue ('EAAqvum) these good tidings? You look downcast; you are stunned; 
you are struck all of a heap, unable to hold up your heads. “Good news” should have nothing 
in it of a duty to be done, but rather should counsel what is good: whereas these “Gospels” 
have endless duties to be done. And again, to mention other things, as for instance, Except 
a man hate father and mother, he is not worthy of Me” (Luke xiv. 26): and “I am not come 
to bring peace upon earth, but a sword” (Matt. x. 34; Lukexii. 51): and “In the world ye shall 
have tribulation — (John xvi. 33.) excellent “ good tidings these, are they not! For good 
news is such as this — “You shall have this and that good thing:” as in common life men say 
one to another, “What shall I have for my good news? Your father is coming, or, your 
mother:” he does not say, “You must do this or that.” — Again, tell me, how do the Gospels 
differ from the Prophets? Why are not the Prophecies also called Gospels, good tidings? For 
they tell the same things: for instance, “The lame shall leap as an hart.” (Is. xxxv. 6.) “The 
Lord shall give the word to them that preach the Gospel” (Ps. lxviii. 11): and, “A new heaven 
and a new earth.” (Is. lxv. 17.) Why are not those also called Gospels? But if, while you do 
not so much as know what “Gospels” mean, you so despise the reading of the Scriptures, 
what shall I say to you? — Let me speak of something else. Why four Gospels? why not, ten? 
why not twenty? If “many have taken in hand to set forth a narrative” (Luke i. 1), why not 
one person? Why they that were disciples (i.e. Apostles)? why they that were not disciples? 
But why any Scriptures at all? And yet, on the contrary, the Old Testament says, “I will give 


471 'Apa pq ocTtarcopev Eaurouq, vopliJovrEq raura eA.Ax|vi<m upiv Aiyeiv; mss. and Edd., apa pi) without the 
interrogation. Ben. “Igitur ne decipiamus nosmetipsos hcec Grceco more did." The meaning seems to be, “When 
we tell you these things as EuayyeAta, do we deceive ourselves in thinking that we are speaking Greek — that we 
are using the term aright? — Yes to judge from your looks, one may see that they are anything but euayysA-ia to 
you. 'Ypek; KarqcpEfrE, upelp K£KU>cpwa0£’ <XTtoJtA.r|Kroi ruyxavETE Kara) kuhtovtec;.” The innovator (E. Edd.) 
quite alters the meaning, as if it were, “You look as indifferent as if it were no concern of yours;” viz. “Or, have 
you nothing to do with these things? But you are struck deaf (K£KU)<pwa0£), and as if you were in a fit, hang 
down your heads.” — Below, for kou TtdA.iv Etepa £pw, oiov, the same have, oiom£p am xai ra roiaura, “such as 
are also these.” 

472 Edd. KaAa y£’ ou yap raura euayyeAia: read KaAaye (ouyap;) raura EuayyeAta. In the next sentence, Tl 
pot rtov EuayyeAiwv; Ben. “ Quid mihi est evangeliorum.” 


241 


Homily XIX on Acts viii. 26, 27. 


you a New Testament.” (Jer. xxxi. 31.) Where are they that say, “Always the same things?” 
If ye knew these, that, though a man should live thousands of years, they are not “the same 
things,” ye would not say this. Believe me, I will not tell you the answers to any of these 
questions; not in private, not in public: only, if any find them out, I will nod assent. For this 
is the way we have made you good-for-nothing, by always telling you the things ready to 
your hands, and not refusing when we ought. Look, you have questions enough: consider 
them, tell me the reasons. Why Gospels? Why not Prophecies? Why duties, to be done, in 
the Gospels? If one is at a loss, let another seek the answer, and contribute each to the others 
from what he has: but now we will hold our peace. For if what has been spoken has done 
you no good, much less would it, should we add more. We only pour water into a vessel full 
of holes. And the punishment too is all the greater for you. Therefore, we will hold our peace. 
Which that we may not have to do, it rests with yourselves. For if we shall see your diligence, 
perhaps we will again speak, that both ye maybe more approved, and we may rejoice over 
you, in all things giving glory to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: to Him be 
glory and dominion now and ever, and world without end. Amen. 


242 


Homily XX on Acts ix. 10, 12. 


Homily XX. 

Acts IX. 10. 12 

“And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in 
a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, 
Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for 
one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, heprayeth, and hath seen in a vision a man named 
Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.” 

What may be the reason that He neither drew any one of high authority and importance, 

A'7'2 

nor caused such to be forthcoming for the purpose of instructing Paul? It was, because 
it was not meet that he should be induced by men, but only by Christ Himself: as in fact this 
man taught him nothing, but merely baptized him; for, as soon as baptized (cpomaBetc;), he 
was to draw upon himself the grace of the Spirit, by his zeal and exceeding earnestness. And 
that Ananias was no very distinguished person, is plain. For, “the Lord,” it says, “spake unto 
him in a vision, and Ananias answered and said, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, 
how much evil he hath done to Thy saints at Jerusalem.” (v. 13.) For if he spoke in objection 
to Him, much more would he have done so, had He sent an Angel. And this is why, in the 
former instance, neither is Philip told what the matter is; but he sees the Angel, and then 
the Spirit bids him go near to the chariot. But observe here how the Lord relieves him of his 
fear: “He is blind,” saith He, “and prayeth, and art thou afraid?” In the same way Moses also 
is afraid: so that the words betokened that he was afraid, and shrunk from the task, not that 
he did not believe. He said,” have heard from many concerning this man.” What sayest 
thou? God speaketh, and thou hesitatest? They did not yet well know the power of Christ. 
“And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on Thy name.” (v. 
14.) How was that known? It is likely that they, being in fear, made minute enquiries. He 
does not say this, as thinking that Christ does not know the fact, but, “such being the case, 
how,” says he, “can these things be?” As in fact those (in the Gospel) say, “Who can be 
saved?” — (Mark x. 26.) This is done, in order that Paul may believe him that shall come to 
him: “he hath seen in a vision:” it hath showed him beforehand: “he prayeth,” saith (the 
Lord): fear not. And observe, He speaks not to him of the success achieved: teaching us not 


473 CEcumen. adds from some other source, “but Ananias who was one of the Seventy:” and afterwards, “And 
this Ananias was a deacon, as Paul himself testifies in the Canons:” the latter from Ammonius the Presbyter, in 
the Catena. — Below, Kai on (Cat., “On yap) ou ttov a<po5pa emafjpwv r|v, 5rjA.ov, C. comp. p. 279. But Edd. 
“But that Ananias also was one of the very distinguished persons, is plain both from what (the Lord) reveals and 
says to him, and from what he himself says in answer: Lord, I have heard,” etc. 


243 


Homily XX on Acts ix. 10, 12. 


to speak of our achievements. And, 474 though He saw him afraid, for all this He said it not. 
“Thou shalt not be disbelieved:” “he hath seen,” saith He, “in a vision a man (named) 
Ananias:” for this is why it was “in a vision,” namely, because he was blind. And not even 
the exceeding wonderfulness of the thing took possession of the disciple’s mind, so greatly 
was he afraid. But observe: Paul being blind, in this way He restored to sight. “But the Lord 
said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the 
Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: for I will show him how great things he must 
suffer for My name’s sake.” (v. 15, 16.) “Not only,” saith He, “shall he be a believer, but even 
a teacher, and great boldness shall he show: ‘before Gentiles and kings’ — such shall be the 
spread of the doctrine! — that just as He astonished (him) by the former, so He may (startle 
him even more) by the latter. 475 “And Ananias went, and entered into the house, and laid 
his hands upon him, and said, Brother Saul” — he straightway addresses him as a friend by 
that name — “Jesus, Who appeared unto thee in the way in which thou earnest” — and yet 
Christ had not told him this, but he learnt it from the Spirit — “hath sent me unto thee, that 
thou mayest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.” (v. 17.) As he said this, he 
laid his hands upon him. “And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales.” 
(v. 18.) Some say this was a sign of his blindness. Why did he not blind his eyes (entirely)? 
This was more wonderful, that, with his eyes open, he did not see: (v. 8) which was just his 
case in respect of the Law, until 476 the Name of Jesus was put on him. “And he received 

474 Kai <po|3oup£vov 15wv, ou5e outux; eiitev. Ouk aTuarr|0rjari. The mod, t. prefixes MaAAov 5, and adds, 
aAAd ti; ’Avaarac 7top£u0riTi. “Nay, even seeing him afraid, even then He said not, Thou shalt not be disbelieved: 
(Erasm. negligently, Be not unbelieving:) but what? Arise,” etc. So Morel. Sav. but Ben. puts a full stop at 15wv: 
as if the meaning were, “because He would teach us,” etc.: or rather, “because He also saw him to be afraid. Nor 
did He speak thus. Thou shalt not,” etc. But the full stop should be placed at elttev: “nay, though he saw him 
afraid, He did not tell him what had happened to Paul — the victory He had won over this adversary. But only, 
Fear not to be disbelieved for he hath seen,” etc. 

475 iva wentep £^£tiAt|tt£v toutw, outw KaKelvw. (Sav. marg. rouro, kockeIvo.) “That as He (Christ) astonished 
(Ananias) by the one, so He may by the other.” toutw, by the announcement of Saul as a believer; ekexvw, by 
that of his becoming a preacher, and before Gentiles and kings. (Chrys. is negligent in his use of the pronouns 
outocj and EKetvot;.) Or it may be, “that as he (Saul) astonished (men) by his conversion, so by his wonderful 
boldness as a preacher.” — E. Edd. omit this, and substitute, “as to prevail over all nations and kings.” 

476 “But when was the name of Jesus put upon Paul, that he should recover his sight? Here is either something 
wrong in the text, or we must say that Ananias put the name of Jesus on Paul, when, having laid his hands on 
him, he told him that it was Jesus from whom he should receive his sight.” Ben., — who surely must have over- 
looked the clause OTtep £Tta0£v £Ttt tou vopou, to which these words belong. — Above, Tivet; epaat Tfjc TiripwaEwt; 
eivat touto ar|p£tov, the meaning is, that this falling off the scales, etc., is an emblem of his mental blindness, 
and of his recovery therefrom. The innovator, not understanding this, alters it to, TauTOcc; Ttvet; epaat Trjc; Tt. auTOU 


244 


Homily XX on Acts ix. 10, 12. 


sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And having taken food, he recovered strength.” 
(v. 19.) He was faint, therefore, both from his journey and from his fear; both from hunger, 
and from dejection of mind. Wishing therefore to deepen his dejection, He made the man 
blind until the coming of Ananias: and, that he might not imagine the blindness to be (only) 
fancy, this is the reason of the scales. He needed no other teaching: that which had befallen 
was made teaching (to him). “And he was with the disciples which were at Damascus certain 
days. And straightway in the synagogues he preached Jesus, that He is the Son of God.” 
(v. 20.) See, straightway he was a teacher in the synagogues. He was not ashamed of the 
change, was not afraid while the very things in which he was glorious afore-time, the same 
he destroyed. Even from his first appearance on the stage here was a man, death-dealing, 
ready for deeds of blood: seest thou what a manifest sign (was here)? And with this very 
thing, he put all in fear: for, said they, Hither also is he come for this very thing. “But all that 
heard him were amazed, and said: Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this 
name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto 
the chief priests? But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which 
dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.” (v. 21, 22.) As one learned in the Law, 
he stopped their mouths, and suffered them not to speak. They thought they were rid of 
disputation in such matters, in getting rid of Stephen, and they found another, more vehe- 
ment than Stephen. 479 


sivai airiai;. “Some say that these were the cause of his blindness:” which is accepted by Edd. — And below, “lest 
any should imagine,” etc., where nc;, E. bracketted by Sav., adopted by the other Edd. is due to the same hand. 

477 For Ir|aouv (the reading accredited by the leading authorities in v. 20) here and in the second exposition, 
E. alone has Xpiorov (with text recept.) adopted by Edd. 

478 Kai eu0£u><; ek rpooiplwv, Savattov 6 av0pcoitoq f[v viz. ch. vii. 58. C. has 0avdrwv, for which A. conjec- 
turally substitutes 0aupaaro<;. 

479 The narratives given by Paul himself of his conversion in Acts xxii. and Acts xxvi. as well as allusion to 
the subjects in his epistles, present some harmonistic difficulties, which have, however, been greatly exaggerated 
by a criticism which is unfavorable to the historical character of the Acts. The constant factors in all the accounts 
are: the light from heaven, the voice of Jesus and Saul’s answer, and the solemn charge commissioning Saul to 
bear the name of Christ to the Gentiles. In Acts xxvi. the interview with Ananias is omitted; in chap. xxii. it is 
narrated, but the occasion of Ananias’ going to Saul is not given; in chap. ix. the Lord is represented as speaking 
to him and bidding him go, and it is affirmed that at the same time Saul has a vision of his coming. In xxii. the 
address of Ananias is considerably more extended than in ix. Some minor points of difference have been noted, 
as: in ix. 7 it is said that Saul’s companions heard the voice but saw no one, while in xxii. 9, it is said that they 
saw the light but heard not the voice of Him who spoke. The discrepancy is resolved by many by translating 
rjKOuaav(xxii. 9) “understood” — an admissable sense (so, Lechler, Hackett, Lange). It is certainly an unwarranted 
criticism which rejects the common matter of the various narratives upon the ground of such incidental variations 
in the traditions in which a great and mysterious experience has been preserved. — G.B.S. 


245 


Homily XX on Acts ix. 10, 12. 


(Recapitulation.) But let us look at what relates to Ananias. 480 The Lord said not to him, 
Converse with him, and catechize him. For if, when He said, “He prayeth, and hath seen a 
man laying his hands upon him,” (v. 11, 12.) He did not persuade him, much less had He 
said this. So that he shall not disbelieve thee, “he hath seen in a vision.” Observe how in the 
former instance neither is Philip told all immediately. Fear not, He saith: “for this man is a 
chosen vessel for Me. (v. 15.) He more than sufficiently released him of his fear, if the case 
be so that this man shall be so zealous in our cause, as even to suffer many things. And justly 
he is called “a vessel” (or, instrument) — for reason shows that evil is not a physical quality: 
“a vessel of election” (or, chosen instrument), He saith; for we choose that which is approved. 
And let not any imagine, that (Ananias) speaks in unbelief of what was told him, as imagining 
that Christ was deceived: far from it! but affrighted and trembling, he did not even attend 
to what was said, at hearing the name of Paul. Moreover, the Lord does not tell that He has 
blinded him: at the mention of his name fear had prepossessed his soul: “see,” he says, “to 
whom Thou art betraying me: ‘and hither for this very purpose is he come, to bind all that 
call upon Thy Name.’ I fear, lest he take me to Jerusalem: why dost Thou cast me into the 
mouth of the lion?” He is terrified, even while he speaks these words; that from every quarter 
we may learn the energetic character (ocpeTqv) of the man. For that these things should be 


480 EkcOoc; 5e KaXelrai Sixoaux;- Seikvuvtoi; tou Aoyou on ouk eon cpuaiKi) f| Kama- okeuoi;, cpr|aiv, ekAoytk 
to Sompov Yap EKAEyopESa. A. B. C. N. i.e. “Justly is he called a okeuoi;, for he is well-fitted for the work of 
Christ by his energy and earnestness. These need but to be turned to the right objects. It is contrary to right 
reason to say, that evil is a physical quality or essence, and therefore unchangeable. (See this argued Horn. lix. 
in Matt. p. 596.) A fit implement, therefore, and of no common kind: a okeuoi; EKAoytK, of all others to be 
chosen, because of its approved suitableness for the purpose.” Thus St. Chrysostom constantly interprets this 
expression. Horn, xviii. in Rom. §6 t. ix. 638. “When the stars were created, the Angels admired: but this man 
Christ Himself admired, saying, A chosen vessel is this man to Me!” Comm, in c. 1. Gal. §9, t. x. 674 “Called me 
by His grace. Yet God saith, that He called Him, because of his virtue, (5ia rf]v dpETtjv,) saying, A chosen vessel, 
etc.: i.e. fit to do service, and do a great work. . .But Paul himself everywhere ascribes it all to grace.” Horn. iii. in 
1 Tim. §1, t. xi. 562. “God, foreknowing what he would be before he began to preach, saith, A chosen vessel etc. 
For as they who in war bear the royal standard, the labarum as we call it, have need of much skill and bravery 
not to deliver it into the enemy’s hands, so they that bear the name of Christ,” etc. And de Compunct. ad Demetr. 
lib. i. §9, t. i. 138. “Since grace will have our part, (rd Trap’ f|pu>v ijqTET,) therefore some it follows and abides 
with, from some it departs, and to the rest it never even reaches. And to show that God first examined well the 
bent of the will (TtpoalpEon;,) and thereupon gave the grace before this blessed man had done aught wonderful, 
hear what the Lord saith of him: A chosen vessel,” etc. — The modern text: “And having said Ekeuoi;, so as to 
show that the evil in him (f| Kama aurou) is not physical, He adds, EKAoYqi;, to declare that he is also approved; 
for,” etc. — CEcumen. Seikvuoiv on ouk eoti <puoim| f| Kama aurto, “The Lord shows that vice is not natural to 
him.” 


246 


Homily XX on Acts ix. 10, 12. 


spoken by Jews, were nothing wonderful: but that these (the believers) are so terrified, it is 
a most mighty proof of the power of God. Both the fear is shown, and the obedience greater 
after the fear. For there was indeed need of strength. Since He says, “a vessel of election,” 
that thou mayest not imagine that God is to do all, He adds, “to bear My Name before 
Gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel. Ananias has heard what he most desired — that 
against the Jews also he will take his stand: this above all gave him courage. “For I,” saith 
He, “will show him how great things he must suffer for My Name’s sake.” At the same time 
also this is said byway of putting Ananias to the blush: If he, that was so frantic, shall suffer 
all things, and thou not willing even to baptize him! “It is well,” saith he: “let him continue 
blind (this is why he says these words): ‘he is blind: why dost Thou at all bid me open 
his eyes, that he may bind (men) again?” Fear not the future: for that opening of his eyes he 
will use not against you, but for you (with reference to that saying, “That he may receive his 
sight” (v. 12), these words are spoken): for not only will he do you no harm, but he “will 
suffer many things.” And what is wonderful indeed is, that he shall first know “how great 
things he shall suffer,” and then shall take the field against the perils. — “Brother Saul, the 
Lord Jesus” — he saith not, “Who made thee blind,” but, “Who appeared with thee in the 
way, hath sent me unto thee that thou mayest receive thy sight” (v. 17): observe this man 
also, how he utters nothing boastful, but just as Peter said in the case of the lame man, “Why 
look ye on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made him to walk,” (ch. iii. 
12) so here also he saith, “Jesus, Who appeared unto thee.” (b) Or, (he saith it) that the 
other may believe: and he saith not, He that was crucified, the Son of God, He that doeth 
wonders: but what? “He that appeared unto thee:” (speaking) from what the other knew: as 
Christ also added no more, neither said, I am Jesus, the Crucified, the Risen: but what? 
“Whom thou persecutest.” Ananias said not, “The persecuted,” that he may not seem as it 
were to rave over him (£7i£V0ouof& 139 - v), to deride him, “Who appeared unto thee in the 


481 5ia rouro raura Aeyei: i.e. Ananias’ objection, (v. 13) in fact comes to this: this was the feeling which 
prompted his words. The innovator substitutes, 5ia rouro vuv fjpepoc, on.. .“therefore is he now gentle, because 
he is blind:” E. Edd. — The meaning is; “In saying, ‘I will show him how much he shall suffer,’ etc. the Lord rebukes 
Ananias’ reluctance to baptize him, and restore his sight: his answer, ‘Lord, I have heard,’ etc. was in fact as good 
as saying, Let him remain blind, it is better so.” The parenthetic, Ttpoc; ro, "Iva ava(3Aet(>r|, raura £tpr|Tai, looks 
like a marginal note of one who did not perceive the connection. — E. makes it, “To that saying, ‘That he may 
receive his sight,’ let this be added.” 

482 Kai ro Si) Baupaarov on ttporepov Ttetaerat, Kal tote. So all our mss. (Cat. ro tip.) We conjecture the 
true reading to be, on Ttporepov eiderat: “he shall first know,” viz. “how many things he must suffer,” etc. v. 16. 

483 In the mss. and Edd. the portions here marked b, a, c, occur in the order a, b, c. The clause fj ware Tttareuaai 
EKelvov being thus thrown out of its connection, perplexed the scribes: Cat. omits fj, “until he obtained the 
mighty gifts, so that he (eKelvov, Ananias?) believed.” A. E. F. D. reject the clause altogether. N. ware Kai it. e. 

247 


Homily XX on Acts ix. 10, 12. 


way:” and yet He did not (visibly) appear, but was seen by the things done. And immediately 
he added, wishing to draw a veil over the accusation: “That thou mayest receive thy sight.” 
I came not to reprove the past, but to bestow the gift: “that thou mayest receive thy sight, 
and be filled with the Holy Ghost.” (a) With hands laid on, he spake these words. “And 
immediately there fell from his eyes,” etc. (v. 18): a double blindness is removed. — And why 
saith it, “Having taken food, he was strengthened?” (v. 19.) Because they that are in such 
case become relaxed: he had no heart to partake of food before, until he obtained the mighty 
gifts, (c) It seems to me, that both Paul and Cornelius, at the very instant when the words 
were spoken, received the Spirit. And yet (in this case) the giver was no great one. So true 
is it, that there was naught of man’s in the things done, nor aught was done by man, but 
God was present, the Doer of these things. And at the same time (the Lord) both teaches 
him to think modestly of himself, in that He does not bring him to the Apostles who were 
so admired, and shows that there is nothing of man here. He was not filled, however, with 
the Spirit which works signs: that in this way also his faith might be shown; for he wrought 
no miracles. “And straightway,” it says, “in the synagogues he preached Jesus” — (v. 20) not 
that He is risen — not this: no, nor that He liveth: but what? immediately he strictly expounded 
the doctrine — “that this is the Son of God. And all that heard him were amazed,” etc. (v. 
21.) They were reduced to utter incredulity. And yet they ought not to have wondered only, 
but to worship and reverence. “Is not this he,” etc. He had not merely been a persecutor, 
but “destroyed them which called on this Name” — they did not say, “on Jesus;” for hatred, 
they could not bear even to hear His name — and what is more marvellous still, “and came 
hither for this purpose,” etc. “We cannot say, that he associated with the Apostles before.” 
See by how many (witnesses) he is confessed to have been of the number of the enemies! 
But Paul not only was not confounded by these things, nor hid his face for shame, but “in- 
creased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews” (v. 22), i.e. put them to silence, left 
them nothing to say for themselves, “proving, that this is very Christ.” “Teaching,” it says: 
for this man was a teacher. 

“And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him.” 484 (v. 23.) 
The Jews again resort to that valid argument (iaxupov auAAoyiapov) of theirs, not now 


484 It is noticeable that in chap. xxii. 17, Paul is reported as connecting his going to Jerusalem directly with 
the narrative of his conversion, while in Gal. i. 16, 17 he states that it was not until three years after his conversion 
that he went up to Jerusalem. The various notices can only be matched together on the view that the coming to 
Jerusalem mentioned in ix. 26 was the same as that of Gal. i. 18, and that this occurred about three years after 
his conversion. The f|p£pat Naval of v. 23 must therefore include the time spent in Arabia (Gal. i. 17)., after 
which Paul must have returned to Damascus, before going up to Jerusalem. In this way the narratives can be 
harmonized without admitting a contradiction (as Baur, Zeller, De Wette); it is probable, however, that Luke 
did not know of the visit to Arabia, but connected Paul’s going to Jerusalem closely with his conversion. — G.B.S. 

248 


Homily XX on Acts ix. 10, 12. 


seeking false-accusers and false-witnesses; they cannot wait for these now: but what do they? 
They set about it by themselves. For as they see the affair on the increase, they do not even 
use the form of a trial. “But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the 
gates day and night to kill him.” (v. 24.) For this was more intolerable to them than the 
miracles which had taken place — than the five thousand, the three thousand, than everything, 
in short. And observe him, how he is delivered, not by (miraculous) grace, but by man’s 
wisdom — not as the apostles were — (cksivoi, ch. v. 19) that thou mayest learn the energetic 
(aperriv) character of the man, how he shines even without miracles. “Then the disciples 
took him by night,” that the affair might not be suspected, “and let him down by the wall 
in a basket.” (v. 25.) What then? having escaped such a danger, does he flee? By no means, 
but goes where he kindled them to greater rage. 

(Recapitulation, v. 20, 21.) “And straightway in the synagogues he preached Jesus” — for 
he was accurate in the faith — “that this is the Son of God. But all that heard him were 
amazed,” etc., for indeed it was incredible. “But Saul increased,” etc. Therefore “after many 
days” this happens: viz. the Jews “took counsel to kill him. And their laying await was known 
of Saul.” (v. 22-24.) What does this mean? It is likely that for awhile he did not choose to 
depart thence, though many, perhaps, besought him; but when he learnt it, then he permitted 
his disciples: for he had disciples immediately. 

“Then the disciples,” etc. (v. 25.) Of this occurrence he says: “The ethnarch of Aretas 
the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to apprehend me.” (2 Cor. 
xi. 32.) But observe the Writer here, that he does not tell the story ambitiously, and so 
as to show what an important person Paul was, saying, “For they stirred up the king,” and 
so forth: but only, “Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall — in 
a basket:” for they sent him out alone, and none with him. And it was well they did this: the 
consequence being, that he showed himself to the Apostles in Jerusalem. Now they sent him 


485 The best textual authorities (A. B. C. X,) and critics (Tisch. W. and H., Lechler, Meyer, Gloag) here read: 
“his (Saul’s) disciples,” So R.V.. . .The reference is to the band of converts whom he had been successful in winning 
at Damascus. In Paul’s own narrative of his escape from Damascus (2 Cor. xi. 33) he states more specifically 
that he was let down ‘'through a window, through the wall.” This may have been either through the window of 
a house overhanging the wall, or through a window in the face of some portion of the wall (Cf. Josh. ii. 15; 1 
Sam. xix. 12). — G.B.S. 

486 toutov: Edd. tov £uaYY£^ l <mjv: and below from E. alone, “aXXa povov on ETtqyeipocv tov (3aatAia, not 
speaking ambitiously, and making Paul illustrious, but only (saying) that they stirred up the king.” But he does 
not say it, and his not saying it is the very thing which Chrys. commends: aXK 6 pa toutov ou cpiAoTtpux; AiyovTa, 
ou5e Aapttpov SeitcvuvTa tov IT, “’Ejtfjyetpav yap,” tpijatv, “tov (3aaiAia.” The tpqaiv here is put hypothetically, 
“as if he had said,” or “when he might have said.” The sentence, however, requires something to complete it, 
such as we have added in the translation. 


249 


Homily XX on Acts ix. 10, 12. 


out, as bound to provide for his safety by flight: but he did just the contrary — he leaped into 
the midst of those who were mad against him. This it is to be on fire, this to be fervent indeed! 
From that day forth he knew all the commands which the Apostles had heard: “Except a 
man take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Matt. x. 38.) The very fact that he had been slower 
to come than the rest made him more zealous: for “to whom much is forgiven” (Luke vii. 
47) the same will love more, so that the later he came, the more he loved: * * * and having 
done ten thousand wrongs, he thought he could never do enough to cast the former deeds 
into the shade. “Proving” (v. 22), it says: i.e. with mildness teaching. And observe, they did 
not say to him, Thou art he that destroyed: why art thou changed? for they were ashamed: 
but they said it to themselves. For he would have said to them, This very thing ought to 
teach you, as in fact he does thus plead in his speech before Agrippa. Let us imitate this, 
man: let us bear our souls in our hands ready to confront all dangers. — (That he fled from 

400 

Damascus) this was no cowardice: he preserved himself for the preaching. Had he been 

a coward, he would not have gone to Jerusalem, would not immediately have commenced 
teaching: he would have abated somewhat of his vehemence: for he had been taught by the 
fate of Stephen. He was no coward, but he was also prudent (oiKOVopiKOc;) (in husbanding 
himself). Wherefore he thought it no great thing to die for the Gospel’s sake, unless he 
should do this to great advantage: willing not even to see Christ, Whom most of all he longed 
to see, while the work of his stewardship among men was not yet complete. (Phil. i. 23, 24). 
Such ought to be the soul of a Christian. From 489 his first appearance from the very outset, 
the character of Paul declared itself: nay even before this, even in the things which he did 
“not according to knowledge” (Rom. x. 2), it was not by man’s reasoning that he was moved 
to act as he did. 490 For if, so long afterwards, he was content not to depart, much more at 
the beginning of his trading voyage, when he had but just left the harbor! Many things Christ 
leaves to be done by (ordinary) human wisdom, that we may learn that (his disciples) were 
men, that it was not all everywhere to be done by grace: for otherwise they would have been 
mere motionless logs: but in many things they managed matters themselves. — This is not 


487 'AXX eveSpa (N. eveSpa) erat'et rov itpwrov xpovov, Kai pupta f|StKr|Kd}(;, ouSev f|yetro kavov, k. t. X. 
So all our mss. except E. If eveSpa be not corrupt, it seems to be used in a sense unknown to the Lexicons. — Edd. 
from E. “Therefore it is that he so pillories (arr| Atreutov) his former life, and brands (artijwv) himself repeatedly, 
and thinks nothing enough,” etc. 

488 Hom.xxv. in 2 Cor. p. 615. Horn. v. de Laud. S. Pauli, t. ii. 501. 

489 Hom.xxvi. in 2 Cor. p. 617, B. 

490 MfiAAov 5e Kai itpo rourou, Kai ev oip ou Kara yvtoatv ettotet, ouk (B. oi>5e, A. om. avSpumtvw Ktvoupevoc; 
Aoyiapw SieTtparrero. i.e. “Even as a persecutor, he was not swayed by common worldly considerations.” The 
mod. t. (Edd.) perverts the Author’s meaning:" — nay even before this. For in the things, etc. he was moved by 
man’s reasoning to act as he did.” 


250 


Homily XX on Acts ix. 10, 12. 


less than martyrdom, — to shrink from no suffering for the sake of the salvation of the many. 
Nothing so delights God. Again will I repeat what I have often said: and I repeat it, because 
I do exceedingly desire it: as Christ also did the same, when discoursing concerning forgive- 
ness: “When ye pray, forgive if ye have aught against any man:” (Mark xi. 25.) and again to 
Peter He said, “I say not unto thee, Forgive until seven times, but until seventy- times seven.” 
(Matt, xviii. 22.) And Himself in fact forgives the transgressions against Him. So do we also, 
because we know that this is the very goal of Christianity, continually discourse thereof. 
Nothing is more frigid than a Christian, who cares not for the salvation of others. Thou 
canst not here plead poverty: for she that cast down the two mites, shall be thine accuser. 
(Luke xxi. 1.) And Peter said, “Silver and gold have I none.” (Acts iii. 6.) And Paul was so 
poor, that he was often hungered, and wanted necessary food. Thou canst not plead lowness 
of birth: for they too were ignoble men, and of ignoble parents. Thou canst not allege want 
of education: for they too were “unlearned men.” (Acts iv. 13.) Even if thou be a slave 
therefore and a runaway slave, thou canst perform thy part: for such was Onesimus: yet see 
to what Paul calls him, and to how great honor he advances him: “that he may communicate 
with me,” he says, “in my bonds.” (Philem. v. 13.) Thou canst not plead infirmity: for such 
was Timothy, having often infirmities; for, says the apostle, “Use a little wine for thy stomach’s 
sake, and thine often infirmities.” (1 Tim. v. 23.) Every one can profit his neighbor, if he 
will fulfil his part. See ye not the unfruitful trees, how strong they are, how fair, how large 
also, and smooth, and of great height? But if we had a garden; we should much rather have 
pomegranates, or fruitful olive trees: for the others are for delight to the eye, not for profit, 
which in them is but small. Such are those men who only consider their own interest: nay, 
not such even since these persons are fit only for burning: whereas those trees are useful 
both for building and for the safety of those within. Such too were those Virgins, chaste in- 
deed, and decent, and modest, but profitable to none (Matt. xxv. 1) wherefore they are 
burned. Such are they who have not nourished Christ. For observe that none of those are 
charged with particular sins of their own, with fornication, for instance, or with perjury; in 
short, with no sin but the having been of no use to another. Such was he who buried his 
talent, showing indeed a blameless life, but not being useful to another, (ib. 25.) How can 
such an one be a Christian? Say, if the leaven being mixed up with the flour did not change 
the whole into its own nature, would such a thing be leaven? Again, if a perfume shed no 
sweet odor on those who approach it, could we call it a perfume? Say not, “It is impossible 
for me to induce others (to become Christians)” — for if thou art a Christian, it is impossible 
but that it should be so. For as the natural properties of things cannot be gainsaid, so it is 
here: the thing is part of the very nature of the Christian. Do not insult God. To say, that 
the sun cannot shine, would be to insult Him: to say that a Christian cannot do good, is to 
insult God, and call Him a liar. For it is easier for the sun not to give heat, nor to shine, than 
for the Christian not to send forth light: it is easier for the light to be darkness, than for this 


251 


Homily XX on Acts ix. 10, 12. 


to be so. Tell me not that it is impossible: the contrary is the impossible. Do not insult God. 
If we once get our own affairs in a right state, the other will certainly follow as a natural and 
necessary consequence. It is not possible for the light of a Christian to be hid; not possible 
for a lamp so conspicuous as that to be concealed. Let us not be careless. For, as the profit 
from virtue reaches both to ourselves, and to those who are benefited by it: so from vice 
there is a two-fold loss, reaching both to ourselves, and to those who are injured by it. Let 
there be (if you will) some private man, who has suffered numberless ills from some one, 
and let no one take his part, yet let that man still return good offices; what teaching so mighty 
as this? What words, or what exhortations could equal it? What wrath were it not enough 
to extinguish and soften? Knowing therefore these things, let us hold fast to virtue, as 
knowing that it is not possible to be saved otherwise, than by passing through this present 
life in doing these good works, that we may also obtain the good things which are to come, 
through the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father together 
with the Holy Spirit be glory, might, honor, now and ever, world without end. Amen. 


252 



Homily XXI on Acts ix. 26, 27. 


Homily XXI. 

Acts IX. 26, 27 

“And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they 
were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, 
and brought him to the Apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in 
the way. ” 

One may well be much at a loss here to understand how it is that, whereas in the Epistle 
to the Galatians Paul says, “I went not to Jerusalem,” but “into Arabia” and “to Damascus,” 
and, “After three years I went up to Jerusalem,” and “to see Peter” (Gal. i. 17), (iaroprjaai 
Cat.) here the writer says the contrary. (There, Paul says,) “And none of the Apostles saw 
I; but here, it is said (Barnabas), brought him to the Apostles.” — Well, then, either (Paul) 
means, “I went not up with intent to refer or attach myself to them (avaGeaGai) — for what 
saith he? “I referred not myself, neither went I to Jerusalem to those who were Apostles before 
me:” 491 or else, that the laying await for him in Damascus was after his return from Arabia; 492 
or else, again, that the visit to Jerusalem was after he came from Arabia. Certainly of his 
own accord he went not to the Apostles, but “assayed to join himself unto the disciples” — as 
being 493 a teacher, not a disciple — “I went not,” he says, “for this purpose, that I should go 
to those who were Apostles before me: certainly, I learnt nothing from them.” Or, 494 he 

491 St. Chrysostom’s exposition cannot be correctly reported here. Perhaps what he did say, was in substance 
as follows: “but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus: whence we learn, that the plot against 
him at Damascus was after his return from Arabia, and then the visit (to Jerusalem), after the escape from 
Damascus. Certainly of his own accord he went not to the Apostles,” etc. — (So far, the first hypothesis, viz. that 
the visit, Acts ix. and the visit in Gal. are one and the same. Then) “or else, Paul does not mean this visit (viz. 
after the flight from Damascus), but passes it by, so that the order (in his narration) is as follows: I went to Arabia, 
then to Damascus, then viz., at some time during the residence in Damascus, to Jerusalem (to see Peter), then 
to Syria, i.e. back to Damascus: whereas, had he related matters fully, it should have been, that he went into Ar- 
abia, thence to Damascus, then to Jerusalem to see Peter, thence to Damascus again, then again to Jerusalem 
after the escape from D., thence to Caesarea.” 

492 For rj el pf| rouro, E. gives (as emendation) eira TtdA.iv, and exeTSev, for duo ’ApafHaq, but retains the rj 
ei pi) rouro of the preceding clause, which equally needs correction. 

493 E. F. D. Edd. “As not being a teacher, but a disciple:” the reading of A. B. C. N. is attested by Cat. Gic. but 
below it is said that he joined himself to the disciples, are paSqrqv ovra, Infra, note 1, p. 135. 

494 Here should begin the alternative to the former hypothesis (beginning rj rolvuv rouro cpqalv) perhaps, 
with rj, el pf| rouro. Cat, has d7trjA0ov, f|A0ov, which we adopt, as the mention of Syria shows that the narrative 
in Gal. i. 17-21, is referred to; the subject therefore of Aeyet, acplqcnv is Paul, and raurqv means the visit in Acts 
ix. The next sentence, for rj el pi) rouro raxAiv k. r. A. requires to be remodelled as above, e. g. 5eov Aeyerv on 

253 


Homily XXI on Acts ix. 26, 27. 


does not speak of this visit, but passes it by, so that the order is, “I went into Arabia, then I 
came to Damascus, then to Jerusalem, then to Syria:” or else, again, that he went up to Jeru- 
salem, then was sent to Damascus, then to Arabia, then again to Damascus, then to Caesarea. 
Also, the visit “after fourteen years,” probably, was when he brought up the [alms to the] 
brethren together with Barnabas: (Gal. ii. 1) or else he means a different occasion. (Acts xi. 
30.) 495 For the Historian for conciseness, often omits incidents, and condenses the times. 
Observe how unambitious the writer is, and how he does not even relate (related in ch. xxii. 
17-21) that vision, but passes it by. “He assayed,” it says, “to join himself to the disciples. 
And they were afraid of him.” By this again is shown the ardor of Paul’s character: not (only) 
from the mouth of Ananias, and of those who wondered at him there, but also of those in 
Jerusalem: “they believed not that he was a disciple:” for truly that was beyond all human 
expectation. 496 He 497 was no longer a wild beast, but a man mild and gentle! And observe 

’ApafStaq ei<; Aap. uitoaTpetJjat;, avfjA0ev eft 'IepoaoAupa, eira ei<; Aap. d7tfjA0£ TtdA.iv, eira itaAtv etc; 'lEpoa., 
eira £^£Tt£pcp0q Etc; Kaiaapdav. The reporter, or redactor, seems to have intended a recital of St. Paul’s movements 
before as well as after his conversion; viz. (from Tarsus) he went up to Jerusalem, then was sent (by the high- 
priest) to Damascus: then (after his conversion) went into Arabia (the mod. substitutes, Syria): then returned 
to Damascus: then (omitting all the rest) to Caesarea. — In the Comment, on Gal. i. t. x. 675, D. Chrys. expounds 
thus: “Whereas he says, ‘I went not up,’ this also may be said, that he went not up at the outset of his preaching, 
and, when he did, it was not for the purpose of learning.” 

495 Chrys. here confuses the visits of Paul to Jerusalem. That mentioned in Acts xi. 30, was the second visit, 
when he went to carry the gift of alms to the poor. The visit mentioned in Gal. ii. 1, synchronizes with Acts xv. 
1, sq., when Paul went to attend the Apostolic council. — G.B.S. 

496 The incredulity of the Christians at J erusalem concerning the genuineness of Saul’s conversion is difficult 
to understand, especially since they must have heard of the miraculous manner of it. It can, however, more 
readily be conceived of if, as we suppose, the three years absence from the city had intervened, and during this 
period, Saul had been unheard of. The impression might have gone abroad that he had fallen back into his old 
Jewish life. Certainly the persecution which the Christians at Jerusalem had suffered at his hands would incline 
them to be incredulous concerning his conversion, unless there were positive proof of it. When it is said (27) 
that Barnabas brought Paul “to the apostles” in Jerusalem, we must hold this statement subject to the modification 
made in Paul’s own statement (Gal. i. 18) that during this visit he saw, of the apostles, only Peter and James, the 
Lord’s brother. These may have been the only apostles then in the city, for Paul’s stay was but for fifteen days. 
The purpose of this visit was to see Peter (Gal. i. 18). — G.B.S. 

497 A. B. C. ekeTvo. Bapva(3a<; 5 e av0pwito(; £itt£tKi[<; Kai rjpEpoq rjv Kai opa k. t. A. Cat. ekeT. Bapva(3a<; 
av0pu)Ttoc; £TU£tKf]<; f|v kou opa. The epithet rjpEpoq, “tamed,” was felt to be unsuitable to Barnabas, hence Cat. 
omits it, GIc. substitutes (from below) Kai xpijoto? a<po5pa. The mod. t. transposes the clause to the comment 
on v. 27. The fact seems to be, that Bapva(3a<; 5e is out of its place, and that av0p. ett. Kai qp. is a description of 
Saul’s present bearing contrasted with his former character: and that the sentence should begin with ekeTvo, 
somewhat in this way: ou yap qv ovrux; TtpoaSoKtaq av0pumfvq<;. ’EkeTvo e.g. to 0fjptov, that raging wild-beast, 

254 


Homily XXI on Acts ix. 26, 27. 


how he does not go to the Apostles, such is his forbearance, but to the disciples, as being a 
disciple. He was not thought worthy of credit. “But Barnabas” — “Son of Consolation” is his 
appellation, whence also he makes himself easy of access to the man: for “he was a kind 
man” (ch. xi. 24), exceedingly, and this is proved both by the present instance, and in the 
affair of John (Mark) — “having taken him, brought him to the Apostles, and related to them 
how he had seen the Lord in the way.” 498 (xv. 39.) It is likely that at Damascus also he had 
heard all about him: whence he was not afraid but the others were, for he was a man whose 
glance inspired fear. “How,” it says, “he had seen the Lord in the way, and that He had 
spoken unto him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of the Lord. And 
he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem, and speaking boldly in the name 
of Jesus” (v. 28): these things were demonstrative of the former, and by his acts he made 
good what was spoken of him. “And he spake, and disputed with the Hellenists.” (v. 29.) So 
then the disciples were afraid of him, and the Apostles did not trust him; by this therefore 
he relieves them of their fear. “With the Hellenists:” he means those who used the Greek 
tongue: and this he did, very wisely; for those others, those profound Hebrews had no mind 


now was a man, mild and gentle. — Below, all the mss. have are pa0qTi)v ovra, which is not easily reconciled 
with the former passage (note c). There it is represented, that he assayed to join himself to the disciples as being 
a teacher, and not a disciple; here, that he did this as being a disciple, and 5ta to perptd^etv. CEc, combines this 
with the former statement: “he went not to the Apostles, but assayed,” etc., pecptdijwv, are 5t5. wv, Kai ou pa0., 
where Henten. renders modeste de se sentiens “ quum tamen” prceceptor esset et non discipulus: rather, forbearing 
to put himself forward as he might have done, seeing he was himself a teacher, etc. The Catena has the 5ta to 
perptd^etv after atnovTa, and again after ovra. Hence the true reading may be, Kat opa aurov ou Ttpoq t. an. 
amovra, aAAa Ttpoq roue; pa0qTa<;’ oux are pa0qTqv ovra, aXXa 5ta to perpta^eiv. 

498 A. B. C. (and Cat.) give the text, “But Barnabas — in the way,” continuously, and then the comments all 
strung together. Also the clause “it is likely — about him” is placed last, after yopyoi; f|v 6 dvrjp. This expression 
(Cat. adds yap) may denote either the quick, keen glance of Paul’s eye, or the terror with which he was re- 
garded — “to them the man had a terrible look with him.” — The modern text: ‘“But Barnabas — in the way.’ This 
Barnabas was a mild and gentle sort of man. ‘Son of Consolation’ is the meaning of his name: whence also he 
became a friend to Paul. And that he was exceedingly kind and accessible, is proved both from the matter in 
hand, and from the affair of John. Whence he is not afraid, but relates ‘how he had seen,’ etc. — ‘in the name of 
the Lord Jesus.’ For it is likely, etc. Wherefore also raura £K£ivwv KaraaKeuaaTtKa ttottov, 5ta t tov epywv 
£(3£(3alu>ae ra A.£x0dvTa.” In the original text it is simply Taura EKEtvwv KaraaKeuaaTtKd, Kal 5ia twv Epywv 
e|3£(3afwa£ za Xexdevza, which being put before v. 28, would mean, that the conduct of Paul “in Damascus,” 
the Tidx; eroxppqa., evidenced the truth of what he said, about the Lord’s appearing to him in the way. Hence in 
the mod. text: “wherefore Barnabas making the latter prove the former, confirmed by (Paul’s) deeds the things 
told of him.” (But Ben., Idea hcec ad ilia preeparant, dum ille operibus dicta confirmat. Erasm., Ideo et hcec pree- 
paratoria facit operibus confirmans ea quee dicta erant.) We have transposed the clause, as comment on v. 28. 

255 


Homily XXI on Acts ix. 26, 27. 


even to see him. “But they,” it says, “went about to slay him:” a token, this, of his energy, 
and triumphant victory, and of their exceeding annoyance at what had happened. Thereupon, 
fearing lest the issue should be the same as in the case of Stephen, they sent him to Caesarea. 
For it says, “When the brethren were aware of this, they brought him down to Caesarea, and 
sent him forth to Tarsus” (v. 30), at the same time to preach, and likely to be more in safety, 
as being in his own country. But observe, I pray you, how far it is from being the case that 
everything is done by (miraculous) grace; how, on the contrary, God does in many things 
leave them to manage for themselves by their own wisdom and in a human way; so 499 to 
cut off the excuse of idle people: for if it was so in the case of Paul, much more in theirs. 500 
“Then, it says, “the Church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace (they), 
being edified, and walking in the fear of the Lord, and abounded in the comfort of the Holy 
Ghost.” 501 (v. 31.) He is about to relate that Peter goes down (from Jerusalem), therefore 
that you may not impute this to fear, he first says this. For while there was persecution, he 
was in Jerusalem, but when the affairs of the Church are everywhere in security, then it is 
that he leaves Jerusalem. See how fervent and energetic he is! For he did not think, because 
there was peace, therefore there was no need of his presence. Paul departed, and there 

499 This and the next clause are transposed in the mss. so that eii’ aurtov would mean “in the case of the 
brethren.” 

500 The reason given in v. 30 for Paul’s leaving Jerusalem is, that he was in danger of being slain by his op- 
ponents; that assigned by himself in xxii. 17, 18 is a revelation of the Lord given to him when in a trance in the 
temple, warning him that Jerusalem would not receive his message, and charging him to go unto the Gentiles. 
The two explanations have a common element in the opposition of the Jews and Hellenists at Jerusalem to Paul 
and their rejection of his message. “Paul, notwithstanding the opposition and machinations of the Jews, may 
have felt desirous to remain: he had a warm heart toward his brethren according to the flesh; he was eager for 
their conversion; and it required a revelation from Christ himself to cause him to comply with the importunity 
of his friends and to depart. Luke mentions the external reason; Paul the internal motive.” (Gloag.) — G.B.S. 

501 A. B. C. of N.T. and vulg. Hieron. have the singular throughout; and so Cat. in 1. Edd. from E. the plural 
throughout: our other mss.; otKoSopouevot and Ttopeuopevoi (F. D. Ttepiaaeuopevot), “they being edified” etc., 
in apposition with ’EiocAT|ala. 

502 i.e. ‘If Paul had remained there would not have been peace and quiet.’ It is doubtful, as the text stands, 
whether the subject to r|5o0vro is, the Jewish believers, or, the adversaries: and Karecppovouv, fiyptatvov seem 
inconsistent as predicated of the same persons. Perhaps what Chrys. said is not fully reported, and the text may 
be completed thus: (comp. p. 304,) “there is no war from without, nor disturbance within. For the Jewish believers 
respected the Apostles, as having often stood by them, and the unbelievers durst not attack them as being had 
in admiration by the people: but as for Paul, the one party — viz. the zealous Jewish believers, ‘the profound 
Hebrews,’ despised him, while the others — viz. the unbelievers were more savage against him.” Edd. (from E. 
alone). “And why, you may ask, does he this, and ‘passes through’ when there is peace, and after Paul’s departure, 


256 


Homily XXI on Acts ix. 26, 27. 


was peace: there is no war nor disturbance. Them, they respected most, as having often 
stood by them, and as being held in admiration by the multitude: but him, they despised, 
and were more savage against him. See, how great a war, and immediately, peace! See what 
that war effected. It dispersed the peace-makers. In Samaria, Simon was put to shame: in 
Judea, the affair of Sapphira took place. Not that, because there was peace, therefore matters 
became relaxed, but such was the peace as also to need exhortation. “And it came to pass, 
as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Ly- 
dda.” (v. 32.) Like the commander of an army, he went about, inspecting the ranks, what 
part was compact, what in good order, what needed his presence. See how on all occasions 
he goes about, foremost. When an Apostle was to be chosen, he was the foremost: when the 
Jews were to be told, that these were “not drunken,” when the lame man was to be healed, 
when harangues to be made, he is before the rest: when the rulers were to be spoken to, he 
was the man; when Ananias, he (ch. i. 15; ii. 15; iii. 4-12; iv. 8; v. 3-15.): when healings were 
wrought by the shadow, still it was he. And look: where there was danger, he was the man, 

rrvo 

and where good management (was needed); but where all is calm, there they act all in 
common, and he demands no greater honor (than the others). When need was to work 
miracles, he starts forward, and here again he is the man to labor and toil. “And there he 
found a certain man named /Eneas, which had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the 
palsy. And Peter said unto him, /Eneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make 
thy bed. And he arose immediately.” (v. 33, 34.) And why did he not wait for the man’s faith, 
and ask if he wished to be healed? In the first place, the miracle served for exhortation to 
many: hear then how great the gain. “And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and 
turned to the Lord.” (v. 35.) For the man was notable. “Arise, and make thy bed:” he does 
well to give a proof of the miracle: for they not only released men of their diseases, but in 
giving the health they gave the strength also. Moreover, at that time they had given no proofs 
of their power, so that the man could not reasonably have been required to show his faith, 
as neither in the case of the lame man did they demand it. (ch. iii. 6.) As therefore Christ in 
the beginning of His miracles did not demand faith, so neither did these. For in Jerusalem 
indeed, as was but reasonable, the faith of the parties was first shown; “they brought out 
their sick into the streets, but as Peter passed by, his shadow at least might fall upon some 
of them” (ch. v. 15); for many miracles had been wrought there; but here this is the first that 


i.e. why does Peter delay his journey until Paul is gone, and all is quiet? Because them they most respected, as 
having,” etc. 

503 Kai evBa oixovopia - ev0a 5e, k. r. X. It does not appear what otKovopia can be intended, unless it be the 
order taken for the appointment of the deacons, but this was the act of all the Apostles, vi. 2. Hence perhaps the 
reading should be: £V0a 5e oucovopla, Kai £v0a.. . .“But where management (or regulation) only is concerned, 
and where all is peace,” etc. 


257 


Homily XXI on Acts ix. 26, 27. 


occurs. For of the miracles, some were wrought for the purpose of drawing others (to faith); 
some for the comfort of them that believed. “Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple 
named T abitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works 
and alms-deeds which she did. And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and 
died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber. And forasmuch as 
Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto 
him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.” (v. 36-38). Why did 
they wait till she was dead? Why was not Peter solicited (soKuAr|) before this? So right- 
minded (cpiAooocpouvrec;) were they, they did not think it proper to trouble (ovaJAAeiv) the 
Disciples about such matters, and to take them away from the preaching: as indeed this is 
why it mentions that the place was near, seeing 504 they asked this as a thing beside his mark, 
and not now in the regular course. “Not to delay to come unto them:” for she was a disciple. 
And Peter arose, and went with them. And when he was come, they led him into the upper 
chamber.” (v. 39.) They do not beseech, but leave it to him to give her life (ocorripfav.) See 505 
what a cheering inducement to alms is here! “And all the widows,” it says, “stood round 
him weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas had made while she was 
with them.” Peter went into the apartment, as one who took it calmly, but see what an acces- 
sion came of it! It is not without a meaning that the Writer has informed us of the woman’s 
name, but to show that the name she bore (cpspoovupot; f|v) matched her character; as active 
and wakeful was she as an antelope. For in many instances there is a Providence in the giving 
of names, as we have often told you. “She was full,” it says, “of good works:” not only of 
alms, but “of good works,” first, and then of this good work in particular. “Which,” it says, 
“Dorcas made while she was with them.” Great humility! Not as we do; but they were all 
together in common, and in company with them she made these things and worked. “But 
Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, 


504 ei'itou (rjitou, B) tv ra^ei Ttapepyou touto rjrouv (f|v, C.), Ttpor|YOup£vto<; 5e ouk eti, paSrjrpia yap f[v. 
A. B. C. Cat. But Edd. loots 5eT^ou ort ev k. r. X. and paBtJrpia yap f|v before Ttporiy. CEcum, ev ta^et yap Trap. 
touto fbouv, P«0. yap n v > omitting. Ttpor|y. 5e ouketi. — “If the place had not been near, they would not have 
made the request: for it was asking him to put himself out of his way, to do this over and above, and not in the 
regular course.” — This is a hint to the hearers that they should show the like forbearance and discretion, in not 
giving their Bishop unnecessary trouble. 

505 'Opqc eA-Eqpoauvqc Ttoaq ylvETai npOTpoTtrj. Edd. from E, “Thus is here fulfilled the saying, ‘Alms delivereth 
from death. And all the widows,”’ etc. Below, for Etc; tiJv otmav Etaqei 6 Il£Tpo<; cbq <piA.oao<pwv' opa 5e noaq f| 
EitfSoau; yeyovEv: the same have, “Where she was laid out dead, they take Peter, raxoc oi& 231’pevoi itpoq 
cptA-Oaotplav aura) ti xapl?£®0on> perhaps thinking to give him a subject for elevated thought. Seest thou,” 
etc. — The meaning seems to be, “Peter went to see the dead body, expecting no miracle, but only as one who 
could bear such sights, and would teach others to do so: but see what a mighty additional boon came of it!” 

258 


Homily XXI on Acts ix. 26, 27. 


Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.” (v. 40.) Why 
does he put them all out? That he may not be confused nor disturbed by their weeping. 
“And having knelt down, he prayed.” Observe the intentness of his prayer. “And 506 he gave 
her his hand.” (v. 41.) So did Christ to the daughter of Jairus: “And (says the Evangelist) 
having taken her by the hand.” Mark severally, first the life, then the strength brought into 
her, the one by the word, the other by his hand — “And he gave her his hand, and lifted her 
up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive:” to some for comfort, 
because they received back their sister, and because they saw the miracle, and for kindly 
support (npocrracriav) to others. “And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed 
in the Lord. And it came to pass, that he tarried many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner.” 
(v. 42-43.) Mark the unassuming conduct, mark the moderation of Peter, how he does not 
make his abode with this lady, or some other person of distinction, but with a tanner: by all 
his acts leading men to humility, neither suffering the mean to be ashamed, nor the great 
to be elated! “Many days;” for they needed his instruction, who had believed through the 

miracles. — Let us look then again at what has been said. 

“Assayed,” it says, “to join himself to the disciples.” (Recapitulation, v. 26.) He did not 

rno 

come up to them unabashed, but with a subdued manner. “Disciples” they were all called 

at that time by reason of their great virtue, for there was the likeness of the disciples plainly 
to be seen. “But they were all afraid of him.” See how they feared the dangers, how the alarm 
was yet at its height in them. “But Barnabas,” etc. (v. 27.) — it seems to me that Barnabas was 
of old a friend of his — “and related,” etc.: observe how Paul says nothing of all this himself: 
nor would he have brought it forward to the others, had he not been compelled to do so. 
“And he was with them, coming in and going out at Jerusalem, and speaking boldly in the 
name of the Lord Jesus.” (v. 28, 29.) This gave them all confidence. “But they went about to 
slay him: which when the brethren knew” etc. (v. 30.) Do you observe how both there (at 
Damascus), and here, the rest take care for him, and provide for him the means of departure, 
and that we nowhere find him thus far receiving (direct supernatural) aid from God? So the 
energy of his character is betokened. “To Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus:” so that, I 
suppose, he did not continue his journey by land, but sailed the rest of it. And this (departure) 


506 In the mss. Kai Kparrjaac;, cprjai, rrjc; X £ tp6<;. & 169’Opa (E. Edd. ’EvrauSa SetKvuat) Kara (tepop k. r. X. 
But the passage cited is from Luke viii. 52, kou Kparrjaac; rrjc; x£tpoc; aurfjc;, ecptovr|ae k. r. X. to which, and 
probably to the 6K(3aA.d)v e^w rtavrac ; there preceding, St. Chrys. here referred. 

507 Edd. from E. oc; Kat 5ta rouro £Kptv£ SicAtMv, erteiSri rijc aurou 5i5aaKaMa<; eSeovro oi Tuar£uaavr£c;. 
“Who also for this reason judged it right to make this circuit, because those who had believed needed his instruc- 
tion.” 

508 The modern text: “He calls by the name of ‘disciples’ even those who were not included in the company 
of the twelve (Apostles), because they were all called disciples,” etc. 


259 


Homily XXI on Acts ix. 26, 27. 


is Providentially ordered, that he might preach there also: and so likewise were the plots 
against him ordered by God’s Providence, and his coming to Jerusalem, that the story about 
him might no longer be disbelieved. For there he was “speaking boldly,” it says, “in the name 
of the Lord Jesus; and he spake and disputed against the Hellenists;” and again, “he was with 
them coming in and going out. — So 509 the Church throughout all Judea and Galilee and 
Samaria had peace” — i.e. it increased: and peace with itself, that peace which is peace indeed: 
for the war from without would have done them no harm — “they being edified, and walking 
in the fear of the Lord, and abounded in the consolation of the Holy Ghost.” And the spirit 
consoled them both by the miracles and by the works, and independently of these in the 
person of each individual. “And it came to pass, etc. And Peter said unto him, Eneas,” etc. 
(v. 32-34.) 510 But before discourse, before exhortations, he says to the lame man himself, 
“Jesus Christ maketh thee whole.” This word he believed in anywise, and was made whole. 
Observe how unassuming he is: for he said not, “In the Name,” but 511 rather as a sign he 
narrates the miracle itself, and speaks as its Evangelist. “And having seen him,” it says, “all 
that dwelt in Lydda, and Saron, turned unto the Lord. — Now there was at Joppa,” etc. (v. 
35, 36.) Observe everywhere the signs taking place. But let us so believe them, as if we were 
now beholding them. It is not simply said, that Tabitha died, but that she died, having been 
in a state of weakness. And (yet) they did not call Peter until she died; then “they sent and 
told him not to delay to come unto them.” Observe, they send and call him by others. And 
he comes: he did not think it a piece of disrespect, to be summoned by two men: for, it says, 
“they sent two men unto him.” — Affliction, my beloved, is a great thing, and rivets our souls 


509 Here the modern text has: “And the Churches had peace, being edified, and walking in the fear of the 
Lord:” i.e. they increased, and (had peace), peace as it is in itself, the true peace, elpt)vr|v aurf|v 5f|7tou Ttpoc; 
£aurf|V, rf|v ovrux; elpr)vr|v.” (The singular r| ’EkkA.. being altered to the plural, the reference in Ttpoc; eaurriv 
was not perceived.) “With good reason. For the war from without exceedingly afflicted them. ‘And were filled 
with the consolation of the Holy Ghost.’” See p. 136, note 3. 

510 Something must be supplied: e.g. “He did not wait for Eneas to ask, or to show his faith,” as above, p. 
301. — Edd. from E. ‘“And it came to pass — maketh thee whole.’ It is not the word of one making a display, but 
of confidence that the thing shall be. And it does very much seem to me, that the sick man believed this word, 
and was made whole. That Peter is unassuming, is clear from what follows. For he said not, In the Name of Jesus, 
but rather as a miracle he narrates it. ‘And they that dwelt at Lydda saw, and turned unto the Lord.’ It was not 
for nothing that I said, that the miracles were wrought in order to persuade and comfort. ‘But in Joppa — and 
died.’ Do you mark the miracles everywhere taking place? It is not merely said, etc. Wherefore also they do not 
call Peter until she was dead. ‘And having heard, (that Peter was there) the disciples sent,”’ etc. 

511 ’AAA’ ux; aripeiov paAAov auto (auroi; B.) SiriyeTTai Kai euayYS^t^erai: “he speaks not in the form of 
command or promise, but of narration: he relates it, Evangelist-like, as a fact.” 


260 


Homily XXI on Acts ix. 26, 27. 


r 1 9 

together. Not a word of wailing there, nor of mourning. See how thoroughly matters are 

cleansed! “Having washed her,” it says, “they laid her in an upper chamber:” that is, they 
did all (that was right) for the dead body. Then Peter having come, “knelt down, and prayed; 
and turning him to the body, said, Tabitha, arise.” (v. 40.) They did not perform all their 
miracles with the same ease. But this was profitable for them: for truly God took thought 
not only for the salvation of others, but for their own. He that healed so many by his very 
shadow, how is it that he now has to do so much first? There are cases also in which the 
faith of the applicants cooperated. This is the first dead person that he raises. Observe how 
he, as it were, awakes her out of sleep: first she opened her eyes: then upon seeing (Peter) 
she sat up: then from his hand she received strength. “And it was known throughout all 
Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.” (v. 42.) Mark the gain, mark the fruit, that it was 
not for display. Indeed, this is why he puts them all out, imitating his Master in this also. 

r -I o 

For where tears are — or rather, where miracles are, there tears ought not to be; not 
where such a mystery is celebrating. Hear, I beseech you: although somewhat of the like 
kind does not take place now, yet in the case of our dead likewise, a great mystery is celeb- 
rating. Say, 514 if as we sit together, the Emperor were to send and invite some one of us to 
the palace, would it be right, I ask, to weep and mourn? Angels are present, commissioned 
from heaven and come from thence, sent from the King Himself to call their fellow servant, 
and say, dost thou weep? Knowest thou not what a mystery it is that is taking place, how 
awful, how dread, and worthy indeed of hymns and lauds? Wouldest thou learn, that thou 
mayest know, that this is no time for tears? For it is a very great mystery of the Wisdom of 
God. As if leaving her dwelling, the soul goes forth, speeding on her way to her own Lord, 
and dost thou mourn? Why then, thou shouldst do this on the birth of a child: for this in 


512 "Opa mix; SiaxaSaiperai ra Ttpaypara (omitted in E. D. F. Edd.): i.e. how the Gospel has purged away all 
excess of mourning, and all noisy demonstrations of grief. St. Chrys. frequently inveighs against the heathenish 
customs of mourning for the dead, which were still practised — such as the hiring of heathen mourning- women: 
Horn, in Matt. xxxi. p. 207. A. “I confess to you, I am ashamed when I see the troops of women tearing their 
hair, gashing their flesh, as they move through the market — and this under the very eyes of the heathen.” Cone, 
in Laz. v. t. i. p. 765 D. where the Christian mode of interment is described; viz. the procession of clergy with 
psalms and hymns of praise, lighted tapers, etc. comp. Horn. iv. in Heb. (ii. 15.) 

513 ’'Ev0a yap Saxpua, paAAov 5e ev0a 0aupara, ou 5eT 5ch<pua raxpavar ev0a toioOtov puarqpiov reXelrai. 
It seems, he was going to say, “Where tears are, it is no fit time for miracles,” but corrects himself, for put in 
that way the proposition was not true. The innovator weakly substitutes, “For where tears are, such a mystery 
ought not to be performed: or rather, where miracles are, there tears ought not to be.” 

514 The rest of the Horn, is given in the Florilegium or Eclogce, in t. xii. eel. xlv. — the only instance in which 
these Homilies have been employed in that compilation. Its author used the old text: it does not appear that any 
of his various readings were derived from the modern text. 


261 


Homily XXI on Acts ix. 26, 27. 


fact is also a birth, and a better than that. For here she goes forth to a very different light, is 
loosed as from a prison-house, comes off as from a contest. “Yes,” say you, “it is all very well 
to say this , 515 in the case of those of whose salvation we are assured.” Then, what ails thee, 
O man, that even in the case of such, thou dost not take it in this way? Say, what canst thou 
have to condemn in the little child? Why dost thou mourn for it? What in the newly baptized? 
for he too is brought into the same condition: why dost thou mourn for him? For as the sun 
arises clear and bright, so the soul, leaving the body with a pure conscience, shines joyously. 
Not such the spectacle of Emperor as he comes in state to take possession of the city 
(£Tti(3atvovra ttoAsojc;), not such the hush of awe, as when the soul having quitted the body 
is departing in company with Angels. Think what the soul must then be! in what amazement, 
what wonder, what delight! Why mournest thou? Answer me. — But it is only in the case of 
sinners thou doest this? Would that it were so, and I would not forbid your mournings, 
would that this were the object! This lamentation were Apostolic, this were after the pattern 
of the Lord; for even Jesus wept over Jerusalem. I would that your mournings were discrim- 
inated by this rule. But when thou speakest the words of one 516 that would call back (the 
dead), and speakest of thy long intimacy and his beneficence, it is but for this thou mournest 
(not because he was a sinner), thou dost but pretend to say it. Mourn, bewail the sinner, 
and I too will give a loose to tears; I, more than thou, the greater the punishment to which 
he is liable as such: I too will lament, with such an object. But not thou alone must lament 
him that is such; the whole city must do the same, and all that meet you on the way, as men 
bewail them that are led to be put to death. For this is a death indeed, an evil death, the death 
of sinners. But (with you) all is clean reversed. Such lamentation marks a lofty mind, and 
conveys much instruction; the other marks a littleness of soul. If we all lamented with this 
sort of lamentation, we should amend the persons themselves while yet living. For as, if it 
rested with thee to apply medicines which would prevent that bodily death, thou wouldest 


515 £Jti rtov EuSovctptov: i.e. those who are certainly not reprobates (ouk dSomptov). In the next sentence, E. 
Edd. teat rt Jtpoc; ae, avSpume; au yap ou5e £iri rwv euSok. tooto rotEu;. Ben. Et quid hoc ad te, o homo? tu enim 
ergaprobos hoc non agis. Erasm. tu enim neque apud probatissimos hocagis. The other mss. and Eel. rt ouv...cm. 

516 "Orav 5e dvatcaAoupevoi; p& 208-para AeyiK Kai cuvrjSaav teat ttpoaraatav, so mss. and Edd. but Eel. 
dvatcaAoupevou, which we adopt. To the same purport, but more fully, Horn. xii. in 1 Cor. p. 392. (and Eel. xlv.) 
“If when some (friend) were taken into the palace and crowned, thou shouldest bewail and lament, I should not 
call thee the friend of him that is crowned, but very much his hater and enemy. ‘But now, say you, I do not bewail 
him, but myself.’ But neither is this the part of a friend, that for thine own sake thou wouldest have him still in 
the contest, etc. ‘But I know not where he is gone.’ How knowest thou not, answer me? For whether he lived 
rightly or otherwise, it is plain where he will go. ‘Why, this is the very reason why I do bewail — because he de- 
parted a sinner.’ This is mere pretence. If this were the reason of thy lamenting him that is gone, thou oughtest 
while he was alive to have amended him, and formed his manners,” etc. 


262 



Homily XXI on Acts ix. 26, 27. 


use them, just so now, if this death were the death thou lamentest, thou wouldest prevent 
its taking place, both in thyself and in him. Whereas now our behavior is a perfect riddle; 
that having it in our power to hinder its coming, we let it take place, and mourn over it when 
it has come. Worthy indeed of lamentations are they (when we consider), what time as they 
shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ, what words they shall then hear, what they 
shall suffer! To no purpose have these men lived: nay, not to no purpose, but to evil purpose! 
Of them too it may be fitly said, “It were good for them had they never been born.” (Mark 
xiv. 21.) For what profit is it, I ask, to have spent so much time to the hurt of his own person? 
Had it been spent only to no purpose, were not that, I ask you, punishment enough! If one 
who has been an hired servant twenty years were to find that he has had all his labor in vain, 
would he not weep and lament, and think himself the most miserable of men? Why, here 
is a man who has lost all the labor of a whole life: not one day has he lived for himself, but 
to luxury, to debauchery, to covetousness, to sin, to the devil. Then, say, shall we not bewail 
this man? shall we not try to snatch him from his perils? For it is, yes, it is possible, if we 
will, to mitigate his punishment, if we make continual prayers for him, if for him we give 
alms. However unworthy he maybe, God will yield to our importunity. For if 51 7 Paul showed 
mercy on one (who had no claims on his mercy), and for the sake of others spared one 
(whom he would not have spared), much more is it right for us to do this. By means of his 
substance, by means of thine own, by what means thou wilt, aid him: pour in oil, nay rather, 
water. Has he no alms-deeds of his own to exhibit? Let him have at least those of his kindred. 


517 Ex yap IlauAoi; etepov r|Ai& 219-ae, koix 51 aAAoux; aAAwv (Eel. aAAov) ecpexaaro, xtoAAw paAAov f|pck; 
touto 5a Ttoiav. But E. Edd. Ei 5xa IlauAov etepoux; Steawae, kou 5i aAAoux; aAAwv cpexSerax, xtw<; ouxx Kal 51 
fljific; to auro touto epyaaErax; “If (God) for Paul’s sake saved others, and for some men’s sake spares other 
men, how shall He not for our sakes do this same thing?” In Horn. xli. in 1 Cor. p. 393. B. Chrys. uses for illus- 
tration Job’s sacrifice for his sons, and adds, “For God is wont to grant favors to others in behalf of others, £T£pou; 
uxtep erepwv xapl^£o0ai. And this Paul showed, saying, “Iva ev xtoAAw Ttpoawxtw, k. t. A. 2 Cor. i. 11.” But here 
the reference seems to be to 2 Cor. ii. 10, “To whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also; for if I forgave anything, 
to whom I forgave it, ‘for your sakes’ forgave I it in the person of Christ.” — St. Chrysostom constantly teaches, 
as here, that the souls of the departed are aided by the prayers, alms, and Eucharistic oblations of the living, 
Horn. xli. in 1 Cor. u. s. “Even if he did depart a sinner,. . .we ought to succor him, in such sort as may be (w<; av 
oi& 231'V te f|), not by tears, but by prayers and supplications, and alms and oblations. For not idly have these 
things been devised, nor to no purpose do we make mention of the departed in the Divine Mysteries, and for 
them draw near, beseeching the Lamb Which lieth there, Which taketh away the sins of the world, but in order 
that some consolation may thence come to them. Nor in vain does he that stands beside the altar, while the 
dread Mysteries are celebrating, cry out, ‘For all that sleep in Christ, and for them that make the memorials for 
them.’” See also Horn. iii. ad Phil. p. 217, 218. Comp. St. Cyrill. Hier. Catech. Mystag. v. §9, St. Augustin, Serm. 


172 . 


263 


Homily XXI on Acts ix. 26, 27. 


Has he none done by himself? At least let him have those which are done for him, that his 
wife may with confidence beg him off in that day, having paid down the ransom for him. 
The more sins he has to answer for, the greater need has he of alms, not only for this reason, 
but because the alms has not the same virtue now, but far less: for it is not all one to have 
done it himself, and to have another do it for him; therefore, the virtue being less, let us by 
quantity make it the greatest. Let us not busy ourselves about monuments, not about me- 
morials. This is the greatest memorial: set widows to stand around him. Tell them his name: 
bid them all make for him their prayers, their supplications: this will overcome God: though 
it have not been done by the man himself, yet because of him another is the author of the 
almsgiving. Even this pertains to the mercy of God: “widows standing around and weeping” 
know how to rescue, not indeed from the present death, but from that which is to come. 
Many have profited even by the alms done by others on their behalf: for even if they have 
not got perfect (deliverance), at least they have found some comfort thence. If it be not so, 
how are children saved? And yet there, the children themselves contribute nothing, but their 
parents do all: and often have women had their children given them, though the children 
themselves contributed nothing. Many are the ways God gives us to be saved, only let us 
not be negligent. 

How then if one be poor? say you. Again I say, the greatness of the alms is not estimated 
by the quantity given, but by the purpose. Only give not less than thine ability, and thou 
hast paid all. How then, say you, if he be desolate and a stranger, and have none to care for 
him? And why is it that he has none, I ask you? In this very thing thou sufferest thy desert, 
that thou hast none to be thus thy friend, thus virtuous. This is so ordered on purpose that, 
though we be not ourselves virtuous, we may study to have virtuous companions and 
friends — both wife, and son, and friend — as reaping some good even through them, a slight 

r i o 

gain indeed, but yet a gain. If thou make it thy chief object not to marry a rich wife, but 
to have a devout wife, and a religious daughter, thou shalt gain this consolation; if thou 
study to have thy son not rich but devout, thou shalt also gain this consolation. If thou make 
these thine objects then wilt thyself be such as they. This also is part of virtue, to choose 
such friends, and such a wife and children. Not in vain are the oblations made for the depar- 
ted, not in vain the prayers, not in vain the almsdeeds: all those things hath the Spirit 
ordered , 519 wishing us to be benefited one by the other. See: he is benefited, thou art be- 

518 £oAa(3f| YuvalKa Kori Buyarptov aYaY£a0ai aepvov. A. B. C. In the Edd. teat Buy- aepvov, is transposed 
after pr| TtAourouvra ui& 232 - v KaraAuteTv aXk’ euAa(3rj: and so in the Eel. which however retains ay, between 
Buy. and aepvov. In the old text, wife and daughter are mentioned first, as the persons most apt to perform these 
offices of religion: in dYoryeoSoa there is a zeugma; “to take to wife, and to have wife and daughter, etc.” 

519 Horn. iii. in Phil, ad fin. Ouk etKfj raura £vopo0errj0r| uro rtov ditoaroAtov k. r. X. “Not idly were these 
things enacted by the Apostles, that in the dread mysteries there is mention made of the departed: they know 
that to them great is the gain which accrues, great the benefit. For when the whole congregation stands there, 


264 



Homily XXI on Acts ix. 26, 27. 


nefited: because of him, thou hast despised wealth, being set on to do some generous act: 
both thou art the means of salvation to him, and he to thee the occasion of thine almsgiving. 
Doubt not that he shall get some good thereby. It is not for nothing that the Deacon cries, 
“For them that are fallen asleep in Christ, and for them that make the memorials for them.” 
It is not the Deacon that utters this voice, but the Holy Ghost: I speak of the Gift. What 
sayest thou? There is the Sacrifice in hand, and all things laid out duly ordered: Angels are 
there present, Archangels, the Son of God is there: all stand with such awe, and in the gen- 
eral silence those stand by, crying aloud: and thinkest thou that what is done, is done in 
vain? Then is not the rest also all in vain, both the oblations made for the Church, and those 
for the priests, and for the whole body? God forbid! but all is done with faith. What thinkest 
thou of the oblation made for the martyrs, of the calling made in that hour, martyrs though 
they be, yet even “for martyrs?” It is a great honor to be named in the presence of the 
Lord, when that memorial is celebrating, the dread Sacrifice, the unutterable mysteries. For 
just as, so long as the Emperor is seated, is the time for the petitioner to effect what he wishes 
to effect, but when he is risen, say what he will, it is all in vain, so at that time, while the 
celebration of the mysteries is going on, it is for all men the greatest honor to be held worthy 
of mention. For look: then is declared the dread mystery, that God gave Himself for the 
world: along with that mystery he seasonably puts Him in mind of them that have sinned. 
For as when the celebration of Emperors’ victories is in progress, then, as many as had their 
part in the victory receive their meed of praise, while at the same time as many as are in 
bonds are set at liberty in honor of the occasion; but when the occasion is past, he that did 
not obtain this favor then, no longer gets any: so is it here likewise: this is the time of celeb- 
ration of a victory. For, saith it, “so often as ye eat this bread, ye do show forth the Lord’s 
death.” Then let us not approach indifferently, nor imagine that these things are done in 
any ordinary sort. But it is in another sense that we make mention of martyrs, and this, 

all lifting up their hands, the sacerdotal body (itArjptopa ieparrKOv), and the dread sacrifice is laid out, how shall 
we fail to prevail with God, in supplicating for these?” 

520 T { oia to tmep paprupcov 7ipoa<pepea0ai, to KAr|0fjvai ev eKavp Tfj wpa Kav paprupec; tbai, rcav (real A. 
UJtep papTUpwv; There is no reason to suppose (as Neander, Der Heilige Johannes Chrysostomus, t. ii. p. 162) 
that the words Kav paprupsc; k. t. X. are part of the Liturgy: the meaning is, Think what a great thing it is to be 
mentioned in that Prayer of Oblation; to be mentioned as the martyrs are mentioned, for of them also, martyrs 
though they be, the same form of expression is used, uitep papTUpwv. — In the Liturgy of St. Chrysostom the 
words are, v Eti itpoacpepopev aoi Tijv AoyiKfiv TauTr|v Aarpelav uitep twv ev itlcrret avaitauopevwv itporotrop wv, 
rorrepwv, itaTptapxwv, itpocpryrwv, aitoaToAwv, KppuKwv, euaYYe^iatwv, papTUpwv k. t. X. See St. Augustin, 
Horn, on St John, p. 842, note a. 

521 i.e. not to intercede on their behalf, but for commemoration of Christ’s victory over death, achieved in 
Himself and in them. The Eucharist is, so to say, Christ’s eittvtKia, in which the Martyrs are eulogized as sharers 


265 



Homily XXI on Acts ix. 26, 27. 


for assurance that the Lord is not dead: and this, for a sign that death has received its death’s 
blow, that death itself is dead. Knowing these things, let us devise what consolations we can 
for the departed, instead of tears, instead of laments, instead of tombs, our alms, our prayers, 
our oblations, that both they and we may attain unto the promised blessings, by the grace 
and loving-kindness of His only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the 
Father and the Holy Ghost together be glory, dominion, honor, now and ever, world without 
end. Amen. 


of His triumph (and this is our commemoration of truth), and the prisoners are set at liberty (and in this sense 
we name our dead). 


266 



Homily XXII on Acts x. 1-4. 


Homily XXII. 

Acts X. 1-4 

“There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the 
Italian band, a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much 
alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth 
hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And 
when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, 
Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.” 

This man is not a Jew, nor of those under the Law, but he had already forestalled our 
manner of life. Observe, thus far, two persons, both of high rank, receiving the faith, the 
eunuch at Gaza and this man; and the pains taken on behalf of these men. But do not imagine 
that this was because of their high rank: God forbid! it was because of their piety. For that 
the Scripture mentions their dignified stations, is to show the greatness of their piety; since 
it is more wonderful when a person being in a position of wealth and power is such as these 
were. What makes the praise of the former is, his undertaking so long a journey, and this 
when there was no (festival) season to require it, and his reading on his road, and while 

522 The conversion of Cornelius marks an important step in the progress of the gospel. Hitherto Christianity 
had been confined to Jews, Hellenists, and that mixed people — the Samaritans (unless, as is improbable, the 
Ethiopian chamberlain formed an exception). Now a beginning was made of receiving the Gentiles, and in 
connection with that apostle to whom Christ had committed a certain leadership and privilege of opening the 
doors to the Kingdom (ch. Acts xv. 7). The narrative is one of the important notices in the N.T. concerning the 
gradual realization of Christ’s command to make disciples of all nations, and shows, so far as it relates to Peter, 
with how great difficulty the most enlightened of the early Christians conceived of Christianity becoming free 
from the forms of Judaism. Cornelius was doubtless a Roman who had become dissatisfied with the idolatrous 
religion of his people and who had been attracted by the influences of the Jewish religion to the worship of the 
true God. There is no evidence, however, that he was a proselyte to the Jewish religion. He could not have failed 
to hear of Jesus and his disciples. Probably Philip, the deacon, was at this time residing in Caesarea and Peter 
had been preaching and working miracles in the neighboring towns. It is not unlikely that the vision which he 
had, appealed to thoughts and convictions concerning the gospel which had been growing stronger in his own 
mind. T o the vision of Cornelius, that of Peter forms the complement. They symbolize the great facts that while 
God in his providence was preparing his apostles for the larger truth of Christianity for the world, he was also 
preparing the Gentile world for the reception of the gospel. It is noticeable that the three centurions who appear 
in the N.T. are favorably mentioned. (Matt. viii. 10; xxviii. 54, and this passage). — G.B.S. 

523 teat to, pqSs xatpou K(xA.o0vto<;. As above xix. p. 120, note 2, Chrys. remarks, that there was no festival 
which required the presence of the eunuch at Jerusalem. Probably he was led to this by the circumstance, that 


267 


Homily XXII on Acts x. 1-4. 


riding in his chariot, and his beseeching Philip, and numberless other points: and the great 
praise of the latter is, that he makes alms and prayers, and is a just man, holding such a 
command. The reason why the writer describes the man so fully, is, that none may say that 
the Scripture history relates falsehoods: “Cornelius,” he says, “a centurion of the band called 
the Italian band.” (v. 1.) A “band,” onsipa, is what we now call a “numerous.” 524 “A devout 
man,” he says, “and one that feared God with all his house” (v. 2): that you may not imagine 
that it is because of his high station that these things are done. — When Paul was to be brought 
over, there is no angel, but the Lord Himself: and He does not send him to some great one, 

n c 

but to a very ordinary person: but here, on the contrary, He brings the chief Apostle (to 

these Gentiles), not sends them to him: herein condescending to their weakness, and 
knowing how such persons need to be treated. As indeed on many occasions we find Christ 
Himself hasting (to such), as being more infirm. Or (it may be) because (Cornelius) was 
not able himself to leave his home. But here again is a high commendation of alms, just as 
was there given by means of Tabitha. “A devout man,” it says, “and one that feared God 
with all his house.” Let us hear this, whoever of us neglect them of our own house, whereas 
this man was careful of his soldiers also. “And that gave alms,” it says, “to all the people.” 
Both his doctrines and his life were right. “He saw in a vision evidently, about the ninth 
hour of the day, an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.” (v. 3.) 
Why does he see the angel? This also was in order to the full assurance of Peter, or rather, 
not of him, but of the others, the weaker ones. “At the ninth hour,” when he was released 
from his cares and was at quiet, when he was engaged in prayers and compunction. “And 
when he looked on him, he was afraid.” (v. 4.) Observe how what the angel speaks he does 
not speak immediately, but first rouses and elevates his mind. At the sight, there was fear, 
but a fear in moderation, just so far as served to fix his attention. Then also the words relieved 
him of his fear. The fear roused him: the praise mitigated what was unpleasant in the fear. 
“Thy prayers,” saith he, “and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. And now 


the incident of the eunuch occurs after the Martyrdom of St. Stephen and the Conversion of St. Paul, i.e. according 
to the Church Calendar, between the 26th of December and the 25th of January. 

524 “EiteTpa and cohors in Polyb. differ. The Greeks call the cohort \6\oc,, it contained about five hundred 
men. Polyb. vi. Kod pev pepoc; EKaarov eKdAcae Kai raypa Kai anelpav Kai oripelov. Casaubon: Ac singulas partes 
appellant ordinem , manipulum, signum." Downe ap. Sav. 

525 aXXa itpoc; EUTeAfj. The innovator (E. Edd.) having made Chrys. say above, Horn. xx. §1, that Ananias 
was a man of note, here alters the text to: “But the Lord Himself appears: neither does He send him to some one 
of the Twelve, but to Ananias.” Below Kai ouk auroix; Ttepnsi itpoc; aurov: meaning, it seems, Cornelius and his 
hour. The same hand substitutes (for explanation of the plural, aurtov rrj da0£vei& 139 - ), “as He did Philip to 
the eunuch, condescending to their infirmity.” And in the following sentence; “Since Christ Himself is often 
seen going to them that are ill, and in their own persons unable to come to Him.” 


268 


Homily XXII on Acts x. 1-4. 


send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter.” (v. 5.) Lest they should 
come to a different person, he designates the man not only by his surname, but by the place. 
“And the same,” saith he, “is lodging with one Simon a tanner, who hath his house by the 
seaside.” (v. 6.) Do you mark how the Apostles, for love of solitude and quiet, affected the 
retired quarters of the cities? “With one Simon a tanner:” how then if it chanced that there 
was another? Behold, there is another token, his dwelling by the seaside. All three tokens 
could not possibly coincide (elsewhere). He does not tell him for what purpose, that he may 
not take off the intense desire, but he leaves him to an eager and longing expectation of what 

ro/: 

he shall hear. “And when the Angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called 
two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; 
and when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.” (v. 7, 8.) Do 
you see, that it is not without purpose that the writer says this? (it shows) that those also 
“who waited on him continually” were such as he. “And when he had declared the whole 
matter unto them:” observe the unassuming character of the man: for he does not say, Call 
Peter to me: but, in order also to induce him to come, he declared the whole matter: — this 
was so ordered by Providence; — for he did not choose to use the authority of his rank to 
fetch Peter to him; therefore “he declared the matter;” such was the moderation of the man: 
and yet no great notion was to be formed of one lodging with a tanner. “And on the morrow, 
as they journeyed, and drew nigh to the city” (v. 9.) — observe how the Spirit connects the 
times: no sooner than this, and no later, He Causes this to take place — “Peter about the sixth 
hour went up upon the housetop to pray:” that is, privately and quietly, as in an upper 
chamber. “And he became very hungry, and would have eaten; but while they made ready, 
there fell upon him a trance.” (v. 10.) What means this expression, eKoraoic;, “trance?” 

526 The clause ouroc; AaArjaEi aoi rl ae 5eT ttoieTv is not recognized by Chrys., nor by the leading authorities. 
See infra, p. 145, note 6. 

527 zi eariv EKataatq. Because the word also, and more commonly, means the being beside one’s self, amazed, 
or stupefied by excess of grief, Chrys. explains that it denotes the being rapt out of the bodily consciousness: it 
was not that Peter was out of his mind, but his soul out of the body. (St. Augustin, Serm. 266, §6, “ orantis mens 
alienata est; sed ab infimis ad superua; non ut deviaret, sed ut videret .”) Comp. Exp. in Psa. 115. t. v. p. 312, D. 
“In Gen. ii. 21. the EKoraau; which fell upon Adam denotes a kind of insensibility, for ekot. means roe^weaurou 
yeveaSai: and in Acts x. 10 it denotes Kapov rtva teat to e^w alaBrjoEUx; yeveaBai: and everywhere eKoraou; 
implies this. It comes, either by the act of God: or because the excess of calamity causes a kind of stupor, teapot;. 
For calamity likewise is wont to occasion ekot. and teapot;.” Didymus (or some other author) in the Catena: 
“They that have chosen to be disciples of frantic women, I mean, they of Phrygia (the Montanists), affirm that 
the Prophets, when possessed by the Holy Ghost, were not in a condition to be strictly cognizant of their own 
thoughts, being borne away from themselves at the instant of prophesying. And they think to confirm their error 
by this Scripture, which says, that Peter e^earaKEvat. But let these silly ones, these indeed frantic persons, know 
that this is a word of many significations. It denotes the amazement of wonder: and the being wrapt above 

269 


Homily XXII on Acts x. 1-4. 


Rather, there was presented to him a kind of spiritual view (Gewpfa): the soul, so to say, was 
caused to be out of the body (e^eorr|). “And saw heaven opened, and, knit at the four corners, 
a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet, and let down to the earth: 
wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping 
things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But 
Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean. And 
the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou 
common. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.” (v. 11 - 16 .) 
What is this? It is a symbol of the whole world. The man was uncircumcised: and — for 
he had nothing in common with the Jews — they would all accuse him as a transgressor: 


sensible objects, led on to spiritual things: and the being beside one’s self (TtapaKOTrretv) — which is not be said 
either of Peter, or of the Prophets. Nay Peter, in his trance, was strictly cognizant, so as to report what he had 
seen and heard, and to be sensible of what the things shown were symbolical. The same is to be said of all the 
Prophets — that their consciousness kept pace with the things presented to their view.” Comp, on this subject, 
S. Epiphan. adv. Hceres. Montan. 2. ooa yap oi Ttpocpfjrat appKaai peed auveaetoc TtapaKoAouBouvra; apBeyyovTO. 
Euseb. H. E. v. 17. relates that Miltiades wrote a treatise itepi toO pr| 5eTv itpo<pfjrr|v ev eKordoei dotAelv. See 
also S. Heironym , Prcef itiEsai. “Nequevero utMontanus cum insanisfceminissomniat,prophetoe in ecstasi locuti 
sunt , ut nescirent quid loquerentur, et cum alios erudirent , ipsi ignorarent quid dicerent.” Id. Proem, in Nahum. 
Prcef. in Abac, and, on the difference between the heathen pavru; and the divinely inspired Prophet, St. 
Chrysost. Horn. xxix. in 1 Cor. p. 259, C. touto ydp pavreux; !5iov, to £^£crrr|K£vai k. t. X. and Expos, in Psa. 
xliv. p. 161. C. — The clause reaaapatv dpxaR SeSepevov, before ok£uo<; ti, (A. B. C ) agrees with the Lat. of S. 
Hilar, p. 750, “exquatuor principiis ligatum vas quoddam,” etc. 

528 St. Chrysostom’s exposition, as we gather it from this and the following Homily, seems to be in substance 
as follows: St. Peter was not ignorant of nor averse to, the counsel of God in respect of the free admission of the 
Gentiles. He did not need instruction on this point for himself, and the vision was not so much intended for his 
instruction or assurance, as for reproof to the Jewish believers who were not yet enlightened in this mystery. 
(Even the token which was given in the descent of the Holy Ghost on Cornelius before baptism, was for them, 
not for him.) He needed but a command to act upon it without hesitation. But because this would certainly be 
regarded as a flagrant offence by the weaker brethren, for their sakes this symbolical lesson is given: and the 
circumstances are so contrived (olKOvopeTrai) as to silence their objections. It is so ordered, that the matter of 
accusation is put by them in this form, “Thou didst go in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.” Had 
they said, “Thou didst baptize such,” St. Peter could not have alleged that he did it reluctantly: but to the charge 
of unclean eating he had his answer: “I did object; I said, not so, Lord, for nothing common or unclean,” etc. 
This carried with it his exculpation from the whole matter of offence: for they would apply it thus — “he baptized 
these Gentiles, but not without objecting to the command; not until his reluctance was overruled,” though in 
fact St. Peter had no such reluctance. 


270 


Homily XXII on Acts x. 1-4. 


cog 

“thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them: (ch. xi. 3)” this was a 
thing altogether offensive to them: observe then what is providentially managed. He himself 
also says, “I have never eaten:” not being himself afraid — far be the thought from us — but 
it is so contrived by the Spirit, in order that he may have it to say in answer to those accusing 
him, that he did object: for it was altogether necessary for them to observe the Law. He was 
in the act of being sent to the Gentiles: therefore that these also may not accuse him, see 
how many things are contrived (by the Providence of God). For, that it may not seem to be 
a mere fancy, “this was done thrice. I said,” saith he, “Not so, Lord, for I have never eaten 
aught common or unclean. — And the voice came unto him, What God hath cleansed, that 
call not thou common.” (ch. xi. 8, with x. 14.) It seems indeed to be spoken to him, but the 

ro i 

whole is meant for the Jews. For if the teacher is rebuked, much more these. The earth 
then, this is what the linen sheet denotes, and the wild beasts in it, are they of the Gentiles, 


529 Touro tkxvu aurolc Ttpoalararo (B. and Sav. marg. Ttaploraro) Erasm. Et hoc illis valde frequens erat. Ben. 
Et illis admodum cordi erat. But Horn. xxiv. 2. iva pf| Jtpoorfi (Ttpoaarrj) auroTc, Ben. remarks that TtpooiaraaBat 
in the sense “offendere” is frequent in St. Chrysostom. It properly applies to food against which the stomach 
rises: “to raise the gorge, to be nauseous, disgusting, offensive.” See Field Annotat. in Horn, ad Matt. p. 319. 
B. — Touro, i.e. the going in to men uncircumcised, and eating with them. Comp. Horn. li. in Matt. p. 317. (Am. 
ed.) “Such was the strict observance in respect of meats, that, even after the Resurrection, Peter said, ‘Not so, 
Lord,’ etc. For though ‘he said this for the sake of others, and so as to leave himself a justification against those 
who should accuse him, and that he may show that he did object,’ (on Kai avreutov), and for all this, the point 
was not conceded to him, still it shows how much was made of this matter.” 

530 Here besides the clause, “this was done thrice,” something is wanting: e.g. “And observe how Peter relates 
the matter, and justifies himself,” viz. in xi. 8, “I said,” saith he, “Not so, Lord, for nothing common or unclean 
hath ever entered my mouth.” Here for elitov, B. has eittev, which is adopted by the modern text, in which the 
whole passage is refashioned thus: “Since then they would all accuse him as a transgressor, and this was altogether 
offensive to them, of necessity it is managed (oikov.) that he says, “I never ate:” not being himself afraid, God 
forbid! but, as I said, being managed (oiKOvopoupevoq) by the Spirit, that he may have a justification to those 
accusing him, namely, that he did object: for they made a great point of keeping the Law. He was sent to the 
Gentiles: therefore, that these also may not have to accuse him, as I said before, these things are contrived, or 
also, that it may not seem to be a fancy, ‘he said, Not so, Lord,”’ etc. 

531 Peter’s vision fitly represents the divine lesson concerning the destination of the gospel and the manner 
of its progress. None of the apostles doubted that Christianity was for the Gentiles: the great question was, 
whether it was to be preached to them through the medium of Judaism. Should it still be held within Jewish 
forms? Should circumcision and observance of the Mosaic law be required? This was a great practical question 
in the days of transition from Judaism to Christianity. Later Paul became the champion of the idea that it was 
to be cut loose from the Jewish system. Peter and James came but slowly to this idea. The destruction of Jerusalem 
and the fall of the Jewish state brought the question to a decisive settlement. Apart from this, however, the 


271 


Homily XXII on Acts x. 1-4. 


and the command, “Kill and eat,” denotes that he must go to them also; and that this thing 
is thrice done, denotes baptism. “What God hath cleansed,” saith it, “call not thou common.” 
Great daring! Wherefore did he object? That none may say that God was proving him, 
as in the case of Abraham, this is why he says, “Not so, Lord,” etc. not gainsaying — just as 
to Philip also He said, “How many loaves have ye?” Not to learn, but tempting, or “proving 

r o o 

him.” And yet it was the same (Lord) that had discoursed above (in the Law) concerning 

Pauline type of teaching on this point constantly gained ground and influence. The vision of Peter takes its place 
in the gradual development of the idea that Christianity was free from the law — an idea on which he seems after 
this to have held a somewhat uncertain and vacillating position, so that Paul “resisted him to the face” for his 
declining to eat with the Gentiles at Antioch on account of the presence of certain delegates from Jerusalem — a 
practice in which he had, before their coming, engaged (Gal. ii. 11, 12). It is not strange that perplexing questions 
arose concerning the relations of the new system to the old at this time. The general line of procedure was settled 
by the apostolic conference at Jerusalem (Acts xv., Gal. i., ii.) and was substantially determined by the apostle 
Paul. While as matter of fact, the Church has always followed the lead of Paul in this matter, the most diverse 
views still prevail among Christians as to the relation, theoretically considered, of Christianity to Judaism and 
the Old Testament Scriptures. — G.B.S. 

532 St. Chrys. seems here to be controverting a different exposition. He will not allow that the vision was 
meant for instruction to St. Peter, as if he were in ignorance up to this time of the counsel of God concerning 
the Gentiles. Let it not be said, that like as God did tempt Abraham, so He was putting Peter to the proof 
whether he would obey the call to the Gentiles, as if Peter understood the vision in that sense. Had he so under- 
stood the command, “Kill and eat,” he would not have objected; for he could not be either ignorant or unwilling. 
But he did not so understand it, and his objection was solely to the matter of eating. And as he needed not the 
lesson (it was intended for others): so neither did God need to learn his willingness. When God tempts, or 
proves, it is not to learn something that He did not know before; as, when Christ said to Philip, “Whence shall 
we buy bread that these may eat? this He said tempting, or, proving him, for He Himself knew what He would 
do.” He put that question to Philip that he might the more admire the greatness of the miracle which he was 
about to work, (see note 2.) But nothing of the kind can be said here: the case is not parallel: the command to 
baptize the Gentiles would not surprise Peter: he expected no less from the beginning. — His objection, then, 
was to the thing itself, the command, “kill and eat.” And no wonder, for the same Lord had in the Law strictly 
commanded to distinguish between clean and unclean, while there in the sheet were animals of all sorts indis- 
criminately. 

533 Hom.xlii. in Ev. Joann. §2. “What meaneth, Tempting, or, proving him? was He ignorant what would be 
said by him? This cannot be said, ...We may learn the meaning from the Old Testament. For there also it is said, 
After these things God did tempt Abraham, etc. He did not say this in order to learn by the proof whether he 
would obey or not — how should it be so? for He knoweth all things before they come into existence: but on both 
occasions it is spoken after the manner of men. As, when it is said, He searcheth the hearts of men, it indicates 
the search, not of ignorance, but of perfect knowledge; so when it is said, He tempted, tried, or proved, it means 
no other than that He perfectly knew. — Or, it may mean, that He made the person more approved: as Abraham 


272 


Homily XXII on Acts x. 1-4. 


things clean and unclean. But in that sheet were also “all the four-footed beasts of the earth:” 
the clean with the unclean. And 534 for all this, he knew not what it meant. “Now while Peter 
doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which 
were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate, 
and called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there. But 
while Peter,” it says, “doubted in himself’ (v. 17, 18), the men come at the right moment to 
solve his doubt: just as (the Lord) suffered Joseph first to be perturbed in mind, and then 
sends the Angel: for the soul with ease accepts the solution, when it has first been in perplex- 
ity. His perplexity neither lasts long (when it did occur), nor (did it occur) before this, but 
just at the moment when they “asked whether he were lodging there. While Peter thought 
on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and 
get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.” (supra, p. 142, 
and 145, note 7; v. 19, 20.) And this again is a plea for Peter in answer to the disciples, that 
he did doubt, and was instructed to doubt nothing. “For I,” saith He, “have sent them.” 
Great is the authority of the Spirit! What God doth, this the Spirit is said to do. Not so the 
Angel, but having first said, “Thy prayers and thine alms have ascended, for a memorial 
before God,” to show that he is sent from thence, then he adds, “And now send men,” etc.: 
the Spirit not so, but, “For I have sent them. Then Peter went down to the men which were 
sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause 
wherefore ye are come? And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that 
feareth God and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by 
an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.” (v. 21, 22.) They 


there, so Philip by this question, leading him into the sure knowledge of the sign:” i.e. bringing more home to 
his mind the greatness of the miracle, by leading him in the first place to estimate the utter inadequacy of the 
means. 

534 Either this refers to the clause, “This was done thrice,” etc., which should be inserted; or, the connection 
may be — This very circumstance of the clean and unclean being together in the sheet (as in the Ark), might have 
led him to an apprehension of the thing symbolized, viz., that he was not commanded to “kill and eat” the unclean 
with the clean (by the same Lord who of old had commanded a distinction of meats), but that the time was come 
to baptize all nations without respect of persons. But, obvious as it may seem, St. Peter was still ignorant what 
it meant: as the Writer adds, And while Peter was at a loss to know what the vision should mean, etc. — In E. 
(Edd.) the whole passage from “that this is thrice done, denotes baptism,” is refashioned thus: ‘“Not so, Lord, 
for I have never eaten aught common or unclean.’ And why, it may be asked, did he object? That none may say 
that God was tempting him, as in the case of Abraham, when he was ordered to offer up his son as a sacrifice: 
as in the case of Philip, when he was asked by Christ, How many loaves have ye? not that he may learn, did He 
so ask, but proving him. And yet in the Law Moses had distinctly enjoined concerning clean and unclean, both 
of land and sea; and yet for all this he knew not.” 


273 


Homily XXII on Acts x. 1-4. 


speak his praises, so as to persuade him that an Angel has in fact appeared unto him. “Then 

roc 

called he them in,” (b) that they may suffer no harm, “and lodged them:” thenceforth he 
without scruple takes his meals with them. “And on the morrow Peter went away with them, 
and certain brethren from Caesarea accompanied him. And the morrow after, they entered 
into Caesarea.” (v. 23, 24.) The man was a person of note, and it was in a city of note that he 
then was. 

(a) But let us look over again what has been said. “There was a certain man in Caesarea,” 
etc. (Recapitulation, v. 1, 2.) Observe with whom the beginning of the Gentiles is made — with 
“a devout man,” and one proved to be worthy by his works. For if, though the case be so, 
they are still offended, if this had not been the case, what would not have been the con- 
sequence! But' ' mark the greatness of the assurance, (c) To this end all is done (in the 
way it is done), and the affair takes its beginning from Judea, (d) “He saw in a vision, evid- 
ently,” etc. (v. 3). It was not in his sleep that the Angel appeared to him, but while he was 

coo 

awake, in the daytime, “about the ninth hour. He saw an Angel of God coming in unto 
him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid.” So occu- 
pied was he with himself. Implying, that it was in consequence of the Angel’s calling him 
by a voice that he saw him; as, had he not called him, he would not have seen him: so taken 
up was he with the act in which he was engaged. But the Angel says to him, “Thy prayers 
and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God, and now send men to Joppa, and 
call for one Simon, who is called Peter.” (v. 5.) So far, he signified that the sending for him 


535 The letters a, b, c, d, denote the order of the parts in the old text. But C. has the formula of recapitulation, 
both in the beginning of (a), and again in (d), before the verse, “And the Angel said,” etc.: E. D. F. Edd. retain 
it only in the latter place. 

536 AAA’ opa roar; aacpaAeia, i.e. how it is made infallibly certain, that it was the purpose of God to admit 
the Gentiles without circumcision. It might indeed be inserted in ( b ), after ouvSiairarat: “he has no scruples — but 
mark the greatness of the assurance he has received.” In the modern text, the connection is, “He called them in, 
and lodged them. See what security: (0ea n6ar| aacpaAeia) in order that they should take no harm, he calls them 
in, and thenceforth without scruple,” etc. i.e. “how sure he feels that he is doing right in receiving them: with 
what assuredness of mind he does this.” But Sav. “See what security for them, in order that they should take no 
harm.” 

537 Aid rouro itdvra ytverai, A. B. C. N. Cat. But Edd. Aio kou etc’ aurw navra opou olKovopelrat: “wherefore 
both in his person at once all the circumstances are providentially ordered, and” etc. 

538 Here after the clause, ourwc; Eaurtp Ttpoaelxsv (meaning, as afterwards explained, that he did not notice 
the Angel until he spoke), A. B. C. have, Aeyei 5e 6 dyyeAoc; k. r. X. Edd. ’AAA’ i'Swpev avwBev ra apr|p£va. Kai 
etTiev 6 ayyeAoi; k. r. A. 

539 The old text: “And thy prayers, saith he. So far,” etc. Edd. “And send for Simon, who is called Peter. So 
far, etc.” 


274 


Homily XXII on Acts x. 1-4. 


would be for good consequences, but in what way good, he did not intimate. 540 So, neither 
does Peter relate the whole matter, but everywhere, the narratives are in part only, for the 
purpose of making the hearers apply their minds to what is said. “Send and call for Simon:” 
in like manner the Angel only calls Philip. “And 541 as they went on their journey, and drew 
nigh to the city” (v. 9): in order that Peter should not be in perplexity too long. “Peter went 
up upon the housetop,” etc. Observe, that not even his hunger forced him to have recourse 
to the sheet. “Rise, Peter,” saith the Voice, “kill and eat.” (v. 13.) Probably he was on his 
knees when he saw the vision. — To me 542 it seems that this also denotes the Gospel (or, “the 
Preaching”). That the thing taking place was of God (the circumstances made evident, 
namely), both that he sees it (descending) from above, and that he is in a trance; and, that 
the voice comes from thence, and the thrice confessing that the creatures there were unclean, 
and its coming from thence, and being drawn back thither (all this), is a mighty token of 


540 The text is defective here. He seems to be commenting upon the variations of the different narratives: 
viz. the writer himself v. 6. mentions only the command to send for Peter, (p. 142, note 4.) The messengers v. 
22 add, “And to hear words of thee.” Cornelius, v. 32, “who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.” St. Peter 
11,14, “who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.” “On the other hand,” he says, 
“neither does Peter, though he is more full on this point, relate all that the Angel said, but gives only the substance.” 
See the comment on 1 1, 14. 

541 The modern text, omitting this clause, and the comment, inserts the rest of the verse, “Peter went up,” 
etc.: and has below, But that Peter may not be in perplexity too long, he hears a voice saying, “Rise, Peter, kill 
and eat.” But the meaning is, The Spirit caused the vision to take place when they were near the city, that Peter 
might not be too long in doubt: as above, on the same clause, “Observe how the Spirit connects the times,” etc. 

542 ’Epoi 6okel kcil (om. A. B.) to (om. Cat.) Kf|puypa touto eIvcll (om. Cat.) "On GeIov fjv to yivogEvov to 
te avto0£v ISeIv, to te ev ekotcloel yEVEoGai. (Here 6r|XoI, Selkvuolv, or the like, must be supplied. CEcumen. 
Aelkvutcll Se otl Gelov k. t. X. In the modern text the wording is slightly altered, but the sense is the same. In the 
latter part, for otl ciKciGcipTd fjv ekel, CEcumen. has ekelvcl: the modern text substitutes kcil to Tpk; touto yEVEoGai, 
Kai to oupavov avEtoyGrlvciL, kcil to ekeIGev k. t. X. and at the end, tou Gsiov eIvcll to npaypa for 
KaGap6rr|TO(;. — Above, he had said that the sheet was a symbol of the world; now he adds, that the command 
“Kill and eat” denotes the Gospel, to be preached universally: that the descent of the sheet from heaven, and the 
circumstance of Peter’s being in a spiritual trance, shows that the thing was of God — not a cpavraaia. Again: 
that it is all done thrice, denotes baptism: thrice the Voice says, Kill and eat: thrice Peter confesses that the 
creatures are unclean: thrice it is declared that God hath cleansed them: nay, thrice these unclean creatures are 
let down from heaven, and drawn up thither again: a mighty proof that they are now clean, and of the Kingdom 
of Heaven. 


275 


Homily XXII on Acts x. 1-4. 


the cleanness (imparted to them). — But why is this done? For 543 the sake of those thereafter, 
to whom he is about to relate it. For to himself it had been said, “Go not into the way of the 
Gentiles.” (Matt. x. 5.) * * For if Paul needed both (to give) circumcision, and (to offer) 
sacrifice, much more (was some assurance needed) then, in the beginning of the Preaching, 
while they were as yet weaker. (Acts xvi. 3; xxi. 16.) — Observe 544 too how he did not at once 
receive them. For, it says, they “called, and asked, whether Simon, which was surnamed 
Peter, were lodging there.” (v. 18.) As it was a mean looking house, they asked below, they 
inquired 545 of the neighbors. “And while Peter thought, the Spirit said unto him, Arise, get 
thee down, and go, nothing doubting, for I have sent them.” (v. 19, 20.) And he does not 
say, For to this end did the vision appear unto thee; but, “I have sent them. Then Peter went 
down” (v. 21) — this is the way the Spirit must be obeyed, without demanding reasons. For 
it is sufficient for all assurance to be told by Him, This do, this believe: nothing more (is 
needed) — “Then Peter went down, and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: 546 what is the 

543 It was remarked above, that St. Chrysostom’s exposition proceeds upon the assumption, that St. Peter 
did not need the instruction for himself. Here the reporter has not fully expressed his meaning: which should 
be to this effect. “Since it had been said at the outset to Peter and the other Apostles, ‘Go not into the way of the 
Gentiles,’ though after the Resurrection they were commanded to ‘baptize all nations,’ it is no marvel that the 
less enlightened brethren needed some strong assurance on this behalf. And if at a later time, we find Paul, to 
conciliate the Jewish believers, causing Timothy to be circumcised and himself offering sacrifice, much more 
was some condescension to their infirmity needed now.” — Didymus in the Catena puts the question, “How was 
it that Peter needed a revelation in the matter of Cornelius, when the Lord after his Resurrection had expressly 
ordered to ‘baptize all the nations?’ or how came it that the Apostles in Jerusalem, having heard of the affair of 
Cornelius, disputed with Peter?” To which he answers: “Peter did undoubtedly need the revelation; for he knew 
not that the distinction of circumcision and uncircumcision was to cease: knew not for certain that the Lord 
meant the Gentiles to be baptized apart from the visible worship under the Law, until the Lord manifested this 
mystery to him, convincing him both by the emblem of the sheet, and by the faith and grace of the Holy Spirit 
given to the Gentiles, that in Christ Jesus there is no distinction of Jew and Greek: of which thing because the 
Apostles at Jerusalem were ignorant, therefore they contended with Peter, until they also learnt the hidden riches 
of God’s mercy over all mankind.” St. Cyril, Alex., also, c. Julian, (ibid.) explains, that “Peter was fain to dwell 
in the Jewish customs, and, in a manner, was loath to go on to the better, because he was overawed by the types: 
therefore he is corrected by this vision.” 

544 E. D. F. Edd. omit this clause, see note x: and A. B. for ou5e...e5e^aro have ou5ev...e5£l^aro, which is 
evidently corrupt. “Neither did he at once receive these Gentiles: not until the Spirit expressly commanded him.” 

545 So Cat. and the mss. except E., which has ou rouq yrfTOvaq qpwTtov, and so CEcumen. But the meaning 
seems to be, that not expecting to find so mean a house, and thinking they might have come wrong, they asked 
below, in the street, i.e. inquired of the neighbors. 

546 Here Edd. from E. have, “Wherefore did he not receive them immediately, but asks this question?” but 
D. F. insert it as above, “Opa tttoq ouk £u0ewq aurouq eSe^aro, with the addition, aXXa TtuvSdverat. In the next 


276 


Homily XXII on Acts x. 1-4. 


cause wherefore ye are come?” He saw a soldier, saw a man: 547 it was not that he was afraid, 
on the contrary, having first confessed that he was the person whom they sought, then he 
asks for the cause (of their coming); that it may not be supposed that the reason of his asking 
the cause, was, that he wished to hide himself: (he asks it) in order, that if it be immediately 

1:40 

urgent, he may also go forth with them, but if not, may receive them as guests. “And they 
said, etc. into his house.” (v. 22.) This he had ordered them. Do not think he has done this 
out of contempt: not as of contempt has he sent, but so he was ordered. “And Cornelius 
was waiting for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends.” (v. 24.) It was 
right that his kinsmen and friends should be gathered to him. But being there present, 549 
they would have heard from him (what had happened). 

See how great the virtue of alms, both in the former discourse, and here! There, it de- 
livered from death temporal; here, from death eternal; and opened the gates of heaven. Such 
are the pains taken for the bringing of Cornelius to the faith, that both an angel is sent, and 
the Spirit works, and the chief of the Apostles is fetched to him, and such a vision is shown, 
and, in short, nothing is left undone. How many centurions were there not besides, and 
tribunes, and kings, and none of them obtained what this man did! Hear, all ye that are in 
military commands, all ye that stand beside kings. “A j ust man,” it says, “fearing God; devout” 


sentence: A. B. C. Cat. siSev arparttorriv, eiSev av0pumov i.e. Saw a soldier, saw him, as he would have seen 
any common man, without fear. For this, D. F. have ei5e orpariwrap av0pumoup. E. Edd. e!5e arpariwrap ovrap 
roui; ETttaravrap. — Below, for Kai <Jr|Ttjaap A. B. C. Cat. which the other mss. omit, we correct, ov Eipjrqaav. 

547 In the old text, the last words of the citation, v. 22. etc rov oIkov aurou. the rest being lost, are joined on 
to iva ^£vtar|: Cat. etc rov oIkov auroup. Edd. from E. D. F. “But why do they say, ‘Sends for thee into his house?’ 
Because he had given them this order. And perhaps also, by way of apology, they as good as say, Do not find 
fault (pr|5ev Karayvwp - ) not as of contempt has he sent, etc.” In A. B. C. Cat. pi) Karacppovijapp, for which Sav. 
marg. has top av euioiev, pi) Karacpp., is corrupt: perhaps it should be pi) voplapp, ort KarecppovqaE a£ - oi>x top 
k. r. X. 

548 ’aAA’ (A. Kai) ekeT ttapovrop aurou rjKOuaav av (A. raura ockoueiv). We read, TtapovrEp, and conjecture 
the meaning to be, But they being there present, would have heard from Cornelius an account of all that had 
happened to him. Edd. from E. D. F. 'AAAtop 5 e Kai ekeT TtapovrEp paAAov aurou rjKOuaav av. “And besides by 
being there present they would the more hear him (Peter),” what he had to say. 

549 Here Edd. from E. have, “Wherefore did he not receive them immediately, but asks this question?” but 
D. F. insert it as above, “Opa mop ouk £u0£U>p auroup eSe^xto, with the addition, aXXa Ttuv0dverai. In the next 
sentence: A. B. C. Cat. eISev arparttorqv, e15ev av0pamov i.e. Saw a soldier, saw him, as he would have seen 
any common man, without fear. For this, D. F. have e15e arpartwrap av0p dmoup. E. Edd. e15e arparttorap ovrap 
roup ETtiaravrap. — Below, for Kai <Jr|Tijaap A. B. C. Cat. which the other mss. omit, we correct, ov Etpjrqaav. 

277 


Homily XXII on Acts x. 1-4. 


(v. 2, and 22); and what is more 550 than all, with all his house. Not as we (who): that our 
servants may be afraid of us, do everything, but not that they may be devout. And 551 over 
the domestics too, so * *. Not so this man; but he was “one that feared God with all his 
house” (v. 2), for he was as the common father of those with him, and of all the others (under 
his command.) But observe what (the soldier) says himself. For, fearing * *, he adds this 
also: “well reported of by all the nation.” For what if he was uncircumcised? Nay, but those 
give him a good report. Nothing like alms: great is the virtue of this practice, when the alms 
is poured forth from pure stores; for it is like a fountain discharging mud, when it issues 
from unjust stores, but when from just gains, it is as a limpid and pure stream in a paradise, 
sweet to the sight, sweet to the touch, both light and cool, when given in the noon- day heat. 
Such is alms. Beside this fountain, not poplars and pines, nor cypresses, but other plants 
than these, and far better, of goodly stature: friendship with God, praise with men, glory to 
Godward, good-will from all; blotting out of sins, great boldness, contempt of wealth. This 
is the fountain by which the plant of love is nourished: for nothing is so wont to nourish 
love, as the being merciful: it makes its branches to lift themselves on high. This fountain 
is better than that in Paradise (Gen. ii. 10); a fountain, not dividing into four heads, but 
reaching unto Heaven itself: this gives birth to that river “which springeth up into eternal 
life” (John iv. 14): on this let Death light, and like a spark it is extinguished by the fountain: 
such, wherever it drops, are the mighty blessings it causes. This quenches, even as a spark, 
the river of fire: this so strangles that worm, as naught else can do. (Mark ix. 44.) He that 
has this, shall not gnash his teeth. Of the water of this, let there be dropped upon the chains, 
and it dissolves them: let it but touch the firebrands, it quenches all. — A fountain does 


550 The modem text: “and what is greater, that he was such with all his house. So intent was he, and so set 
upon this, that he not only well ordered his own affairs, but also over his household (eiri rfjp oiKereiac;) he did 
the same. For not as we, who,” etc. 

551 A. B. Kod £7tt rfjc olKeraou; 5e ourux;. ’AAA’ ouroc; oux ourux;, oAAa pera rfjc; otKtac; cotdar|<;. & 244-airep 
yap k. r. A C., Kai etci t. oik. 5e ouketi kockux;, aXXa Sikouux;’ waitep yap k. i. X. Below, the modern text has, “he 
feared God with all his house, as being the common father, not only of all who were with him, but also of the 
soldiers under him.” In the next sentence, "Opa 5e rt (ppaiv Kai aurop, the meaning seems to be, “Observe what 
is said of him by the soldier whom Cornelius sent: ‘A just man, and one that feareth God:’ and then — for fearing 
(lest Peter should refuse to come to him, as being a Gentile) he adds this — ‘and well reported of by all the nation 
of the Jews.” Edd. from E. alone: “But hear also what they say besides: for of necessity that is added, ‘Well reported 
of by all the nation,’ that none may say, What, if he was uncircumcised? Even those, saith he, give him a good 
report. Why then, there is nothing like alms; or rather great is the virtue of this thing, when,” etc. 

552 Kav rip rap AapnaSac; (E. Edd., Kaplvoup) avj^riraijepneari, E. D. F. Edd.) In the next sentence, Aurr| r| 
Tiriyfi k. r. X. the pronoun must be omitted. — E. D. F., Edd., “As therefore the fountain in Paradise (or, in a 
garden) does not give out streams,” etc. 


278 


Homily XXII on Acts x. 1-4. 


not give out streams for a while and anon run dry, — else must it be no more a fountain, — but 
ever gushes: so let our fountain give out more copiously of the streams of mercy (in alms). 
This cheers him that receives: this is alms, to give out not only a copious, but a perennial, 
stream. If thou wouldest that God rain down His mercy upon thee as from fountains, have 

rri 

thou also a fountain. And yet there is no comparison (between God’s fountain and thine): 
for if thou open the mouths of this fountain, such are the mouths of God’s Fountain as to 
surpass every abyss. God does but seek to get an opportunity on our part, and pours forth 
from His storehouses His blessings. When He expends, when He lavishes, then is He rich, 
then is He affluent. Large is the mouth of that fountain: pure and limpid its water. If thou 
stop not up the fountain here, neither wilt thou stop up that fountain. — Let no unfruitful 
tree stand beside it, that it may not waste its spray. Hast thou wealth? Plant not poplars 
there: for such is luxury: it consumes much, and shows nothing for it in itself, but spoils the 
fruit. Plant not a pine-tree — such is wantonness in apparel, beautiful only to the sight, and 
useful for nothing — nor yet a fir-tree, nor any other of such trees as consume indeed, but 
are in no sort useful. Set it thick with young shoots: plant all that is fruitful, in the hands of 
the poor, all that thou wilt. Nothing richer than this ground. Though small the reach of the 
hand, yet the tree it plants starts up to heaven and stands firm. This it is to plant. For that 
which is planted on the earth will perish, though not now, at any rate a hundred years hence. 
Thou plantest many trees, of which thou shalt not enjoy the fruit, but ere thou canst enjoy 
it, death comes upon thee. This tree will give thee its fruit then, when thou art dead. — If 
thou plant, plant not in the maw of gluttony, that the fruit end not in the draught-house: 
but plant thou in the pinched belly, that the fruit may start up to heaven. Refresh the 
straightened soul of the poor, lest thou pinch thine own roomy soul. — See you not, that the 
plants which are over-much watered at the root decay, but grow when watered in moderation? 
Thus also drench not thou thine own belly, that the root of the tree decay not: water that 
which is thirsty, that it may bear fruit. If thou water in moderation, the sun will not wither 
them, but if in excess, then it withers them: such is the nature of the sun. In all things, excess 
is bad; wherefore let us cut it off, that we also may obtain the things we ask for. — Fountains, 
it is said, rise on the most elevated spots. Let us be elevated in soul, and our alms will flow 
with a rapid stream: the elevated soul cannot but be merciful, and the merciful cannot but 


553 Koutoiye ouSev idov. & 174-Av yap au raurr|<; k. r. A..— Edd., 0u5ev raurr|<; idov. & 174-Av au raurr|<; k. 
r. X. “Nothing like this fountain. If then,” etc. — Below, "Orav avaAtavcri, orav Somava, k. r. X. in itself, may 
perhaps be better referred to the giver of alms: “when (one) expends, when one lavishes (alms),” etc. but in that 
case the connection is obscure. 


279 



Homily XXII on Acts x. 1-4. 


be elevated. For he that despises wealth, is higher than the root of evils. — Fountains are of- 
tenest found in solitary places: let us withdraw our soul from the crowd, and alms will gush 
out with us. Fountains, the more they are cleaned, the more copiously they flow: so with us, 
the more we spend, the more all good grows. — He that has a fountain, has nothing to fear: 
then neither let us be afraid. For indeed this fountain is serviceable to us for drink, for irrig- 
ation, for building, for everything. Nothing better than this draught: it is not possible for 
this to inebriate. Better to possess such a fountain, than to have fountains running with gold. 
Better than all gold-bearing soil is the soul which bears this gold. For it advances us, not 
into these earthly palaces, but into those above. The gold becomes an ornament to the 
Church of God. Of this gold is wrought “the sword of the Spirit” (Eph. vi. 17), the sword by 
which the dragon is beheaded. From this fountain come the precious stones which are on 
the King’s head. Then let us not neglect so great wealth, but contribute our alms with 
largeness, that we maybe found worthy of the mercy of God, by the grace and tender com- 
passion of His only begotten Son, with Whom to the Father and Holy Ghost together be 
glory, dominion, honor, now and ever, world without end. Amen. 


280 


Homily XXIII on Acts x. 23, 24. 


Homily XXIII. 

Acts X. 23. 24 

“Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, 
and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him. And the morrow after they entered 
into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and 
near friends.” 

“He” called them in, and lodged them.” Good, that first he gives the men friendly 
treatment, after the fatigue of their journey, and makes them at home with him; “and on 
the morrow,” sets out with them.” And certain accompany him: this too as Providence 
ordered it, that they should be witnesses afterwards when Peter would need to justify himself. 
“And Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends.” 
This is the part of a friend, this the part of a devout man, that where such blessings are 
concerned, he takes care that his near friends shall be made partakers of all. Of course (his 
“near” friends), those in whom he had ever full confidence; fearing, with such an interest 
at stake, to entrust the matter to others. In my opinion, it was by Cornelius himself that 
both friends and kinsmen had been brought to a better mind. “And as Peter was coming in, 
Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.” (v. 25.) This, both to 
teach the others, and byway of giving thanks to God, and showing his own humility: thereby 
making it plain, that though he had been commanded, yet in himself he had great piety. 
What then did Peter? “But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.” 
(v. 26.) Do you mark how, before all else (the Apostles) teach them this lesson, not to think 
great things of them? “And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were 
come together. And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man 
that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath showed 
me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” (v. 27, 28.) Observe, he straightway 
speaks of the mercy of God, and points out to them that it is a great grace that God has 
shown them. Observe also how while he utters great things, at the same time he speaks 
modestly. For he does not say, We, being men who do not deign to keep company with any 
(such), have come to you: but what says he? “Ye know” — God commanded this 554 — “that 
it is against law to keep company with, or come unto, one of another nation.” Then he goes 
on to say, “And to me God has shown” — this he says, that none may account the thanks 


554 So mss. and Edd. but the clause 6 0eo<; rouro ekeAeuoe might be better transferred, in the sense, “It is 
only in obedience to God’s command that I come to you.” Below, Eira iva ytriSeic; aura) rijv yapiv e'xn (A. B. C. 
D. F. Cat.) eTtayet (om. C.) rt <pr|alv; (A. B. C. but Cat. for ETtayet rt <pr|avv; has, raura <pr|alv) Kal Epot k. t. X. 
We read, Eira Eitdyet, Kai Epoi e'Sei^ev 6 0eo<; (iva ytr|5£x<; aura) rriv ycipw £xfl raura <pr]aiv) pr|5eva k. t. X. 

281 


Homily XXIII on Acts x. 23, 24. 


due to him — “that I should call no man” — that it may not look like obsequiousness to him, 
“no human being,” says he — “common or unclean.” 555 (v. 29.) “Wherefore also” — that they 
may not think the affair a breach of the law on his part, nor (Cornelius) suppose that because 
he was in a station of command therfore he had complied, but that they may ascribe all to 
God, — “wherefore also I came without gainsaying as soon as I was sent for:” (though) not 
only to keep company, but even to come unto (him) was not permitted. “I ask therefore, 
for what intent ye have sent for me.” Already Peter had heard the whole matter from the 
soldiers also, but he wishes them first to confess, and to make them amenable to the Faith. 
What then does Cornelius? He does not say, Why, did not the soldiers tell thee? but observe 
again, how humbly he speaks. For he says, “From the fourth day I was fasting until this hour; 
and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright 
clothing, and said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are come up for a memorial 
before God. And at the ninth hour,” he says, “I was praying.” (v. 30, 31.) It seems to me, 
that this man had also fixed for himself set times of a life under stricter rule, and on certain 


555 By saying “it is not lawful,” Peter does not refer to any specific command in the Mosaic law forbidding 
intercourse with Gentiles. The separateness of the Jewish people from the heathen world had, indeed, its basis 
in the Levitical system, especially in the regulations concerning ceremonial cleanness. Still the Jews had constant 
commercial relations with other nations. Peter here refers, no doubt, to the customary and traditional exclusiveness 
of his nation which had become a social as well as a religious trait, and which had been extended far beyond the 
purport of the Mosaic requirements, which had for their end the preservation of the truth and purity of the re- 
ligion of the nation. This exclusive and jealous spirit is frequently reflected in the N.T. and contemporaneous 
literature. The Jewish Christians accuse Peter (Acts xi. 3) of eating with the uncircumcised. On another occasion, 
the prejudices of his kinsmen and friends intimidated him and constrained him to break off his custom of asso- 
ciating with the Gentile Christians at meals (Gal. ii. 11 sq.). “Moses,” says Josephus, “does not allow those who 
come to us without living according to our laws to be admitted into communion with us” ( Contra Apion. ii. 29). 
Tacitus accuses the Jews of harboring “the bitterest animosity against all other nations” (Hist. v. 5) and Juvenal 
says that they will not point out the way except to those of their own religion, and that they will “conduct those 
only to the fountain inquired after who are circumcised” (Sat. xiv. 103). How great was the lesson then, which 
Peter had been taught in the vision! It is not strange that it was only gradually learned and practised. — G.B.S. 

282 


Homily XXIII on Acts x. 23, 24. 


days . 556 For this is why he he says, “From the fourth day .” 557 See how great a thing prayer 
is! When he advanced in piety, then the Angel appears to him. “From the fourth day:” i.e. 


283 



Homily XXIII on Acts x. 23, 24. 


556 Kai ev rtaiv ripepaiq- so all the mss. with Cat. (ev riatv f|p.) and CEcum. If the text be not corrupt, Chrys. 
must be understood to interpret onto T£Tdprr|q r|p. of the “fourth day of the week:” i.e. Cornelius had anticipated, 
among other pious observances, this practice also, viz. of the Wednesday fast. Otherwise, there is no intelligible 
connection for the following words, Ata yap rouro eittev, ’Atio rerapTriq qpepaq. This, he says, was an advance 
in piety: and then it was that the Angel appeared to him. Then he proceeds to argue, that it is not “four days 
ago,” for the time does not amount to that number of days: the day on which Peter arrived was not the fourth, 
but between that and the day on which Cornelius prayed, there are but two entire days. It seems that this must 
be St. Chrysostom’s meaning, though it is obscured by mistakes of the scribes. B. C. aurr[ pia qpepa- Kai rjv 
f|A0ov pia- Kai rfj Tplrr| ecpavp- wq eivat Seurepav pe0’ rjv Ttpoar|u^aro. (A. omits the passage.) E. D. F. Edd. 
aurp pia ppepa- Kai rjv aTtfjAfiov oi ttepcpfievreq, pia- Kai rjv r|A0ov, pia- Kai rfi reraptn ecpdvrp wq Eivat Seurepav 
p£0’ rjv Jtpoar|u^aro. Cat. and QIc. agree with E. D. F. in supplying the clause omitted in B. C , to which however 
they add ttapct KopvqAlou: they have also rerdprri e<pavr|, but for the last clause they read, d>aei rptrr|v wpav 
p£0’ rjv ttpoar|u^aro. But the sense intended by Chrys. should be: “This, the day (on which they left Joppa), is 
one day (before the day on which Cornelius is speaking): and the day on which the messengers from Cornelius 
came, one day; (therefore the second day before that on which Cornelius is speaking:) and on the third day 
(previous) the Angel appeared: so that, exclusively of the day on which Cornelius is speaking, and that on which 
Cornelius prayed, there are two days.” This sense will be satisfied by reading, aurr| pia qpepa- Kai rjv f|A0ov oi 
Tt£pcp0£VT£q Ttapa KopvqAlou, pia- Kai rfi rplrr| ecpdvrp & 244-are eivat 5uo qpepaq pe0’ rjv Ttpoar|u^aro. The 
scribes, mistaking both the drift and the method of the calculation, supposed aurp f|p. to mean “the day of 
Peter’s arrival:” but the day before that was the day on which they came away (dttfjA0ov) from Joppa, and on 
the previous day the messengers arrived (f|A0ov), and on the day before that, which is therefore the fourth, the 
Angel appeared: hence they insert the words Kai rjv dTTf|lqon...pia, in order to make out the calculation, i.e. to 
verify the day of the Vision as the fourth day before that on which Cornelius is speaking. So Cat. CEc. and. E.D.F. 
But B. C. retain the original reading, and only mistake the abbreviated form ware eivat (3'f|p., i.e. 6uo ppepaq, 
as if it meant “the second day,” Seurepav ppepav: which reading, though unintelligible, was retained by the later 
Editors. But what Chrys. means to say, is, that, not reckoning the day of the vision and the day of the meeting, 
there are two whole days: therefore the day of the vision was not “the fourth day hence;” consequently, that it 
means “the fourth day of the week.” This hasty and ill considered interpretation of the expression atio rerdprpq 
ppepaq, was suggested by the circumstance that the rule was to fast on the dies stationum, rerpaq and 
Jtpoaa(3(3arov, to “the ninth hour:” so that the practical scope of the interpretation may be of this kind: “See how 
this man, Gentile as he was, had forestalled our rule of discipline: he fasted on the fourth day of the week, and 
to the ninth hour of the day: and see how God was pleased to approve of his piety, by sending the Angel to him 
on that day, and at that hour. But you who know the rule, and why it is prescribed, do not obey it,” etc. — On 
the Dies Stationum, see Tertull. de Jejun. 1. where in defence of the Montanists, who extended the fast beyond 
the ninth hour, (or 3 p.m.) he says: Arguunt nos quod stationes plerumque in vesperam producamus: ib. 10. JEque 
stationes nostras ut indignas, quasdam vero et in serum constitutas, novitatis nomine incusant, hoc quoque 
munus et ex arbitrio obeundum esse dicentes, et non ultra nonam detinendum, suo scilicet more: i.e. the Catholics 
maintained, that the fast on these days ought not to be compulsory, nor to be prolonged beyond the ninth hour. 


284 



Homily XXIII on Acts x. 23, 24. 


of the week; not “four days ago.” For, “on the morrow Peter went away with them, and on 
the morrow after they entered into Caesarea:” this is one day: and the day on which the 
persons sent came (to Joppa) one day: and on the third (the Angel) appeared: so that there 
are two days after that on which (Cornelius) had been praying. “And, behold, a man stood 
before me in bright clothing:” he does not say, an Angel, so unassuming is he: “and said, 
Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. 
Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter: he is lodged in the 
house of one Simon a tanner by the seaside: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee. 
Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now 
therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of 

rr o 

God.” (v. 31-33.) (b) See what faith, what piety! He knew that it was no word of man that 

Peter spake, when he said, “God hath shown me.” Then says the man, “We are present to 
hear all things that are commanded thee of the Lord, (a) Therefore it was that Peter asked, 
“For what intent have ye sent for me?” on purpose that he might so speak these very words. 
(d) “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respector 


Epiphan. Expos. Fid. §. 22. 5i oAou pev rou etouc; f| vr|ar£i'a (puMrrerai ev tfj aurfl &yi& 139- Ka0oAiKfj £KKAr|al& 
139’, cpnpi 5e rerpaSi Kai npoaa(3(3dra> Etoq wpai; £vvarr|<;. 

557 It is wholly improbable that onto T£Tpdrr|(; r|p£pac; refers to the fourth day of the week, as Chrys. supposes. 
The meaning is that, four days ago (reckoning from the time when he was speaking) he was praying (“observing 
the ninth hour of prayer”) until the time of day at which he was now saying these words to Peter. There is still 
less ground for Chrysostom’s interpretation if with Lechler, Tischendorf, and Westcott and Hort vr|areuwv be 
omitted from the text. — G.B.S. 

558 The letters a, b, c, d, mark the order of these portions in B. C. At the end of ( a ) the clause, “We are present,” 
etc. is repeated. In A the order is, a, d, the rest being omitted: in the modern text, a, d, c, b: and the text, “Now 
therefore are we all present,” etc. between (c) and (fo). — With the interpretation of 5ekto<; comp. Severianus of 
Gabala in the Catena on x. 4, ouk eItiev ev travel e0vei 6 troiwv SiKaioauviqv aw^Etai, aAAa 5ekto<; eotiv. 
touteotiv, a^ioi; yheeai rou 5£x0f|vai. And St. Chrys. Horn. viii. in 1 Cor. C. 5ekto^ aura) Earr touteoti, koAeT 
Kai Etuatrarai aurov trpoi; rr]v dA.t)0£iav. Paul is cited as an instance: persecutor as he was, “yet, because he led 
a blameless life, and did not these things of human passion, he was both accepted and far outwent all. But if 
some one should say, ‘How is it that such an one, the Greek, kind as he is and good and humane, continues in 
error?’ I answer, that he has a fault of a different kind, vainglory or sluggishness of mind, or not being in earnest 
about his salvation, but thinking that all the circumstances of his life are mere chance-medley and haphazard. 
But by ‘him that worketh righteousness,’ Peter means, him that is blameless in all things (comp, infra p. 

151.) ‘How is it then,’ you will say, ‘that impure persons have been accounted worthy to have the Gospel 

preached to them (Karr|^uo0r|aav rou Kr|puypaTO<;)?’ Because they were willing and desirous. For some, even 
which are in error, He draws, when they become cleansed from their vices; and others coming of their own accord, 
He repulses not: many also have inherited their piety from their ancestors.” 


285 


Homily XXIII on Acts x. 23, 24. 


of persons: but in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is acceptable 
to him.” (v. 34, 35.) That is, be he uncircumcised or circumcised, (c) This also Paul declaring, 
saith, “For there is no respect of persons with God.” 559 (Rom. ii. 11.) (e) What then? (it may 
be asked) is the man yonder in Persia acceptable to Him? If he be worthy, in this regard he 
is acceptable, that it should be granted him to be brought unto faith (to) Kcrra(;ioj0fjvai rrjq 
luarsojc;). The Eunuch from Ethiopia He overlooked not. “What shall one say then of the 
religious men who have been overlooked?” It is not the case, that any (such) ever was over- 
looked. But what he says is to this effect, that God rejects no man. 560 “In every nation, he 
that feareth God and worketh righteousness:” (by righteousness) he means, all virtue. Mark, 
how he subdues all elation of mind in him. That (the Jews) may not seem to be in the con- 
dition of persons cast off (he adds), “The word which He sent unto the children of Israel, 
preaching peace by Jesus Christ: He is Lord of all (v. 36): this he says also for the sake of 
those present (of the Jews), that He may persuade them also: this is why he forces Cornelius 
to speak. “He,” saith he, “is Lord of all.” But observe at the very outset, “The word,” says he, 
“which He sent unto the children of Israel;” he gives them the preeminence. Then he adduces 
(these Gentiles) themselves as witnesses: “ye know,” says he, “the matter which came to pass 
throughout all Judea, beginning at Galilee” — then he confirms it from this also — “after the 
baptism which John preached” (v. 37) — “even Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him 
with the Holy Ghost and with power.” (v. 38.) He does not mean, Ye know Jesus, for they 
did not know Him, but he speaks of the things done by Him: 561 “Who went about doing 

559 The word TcpoatOJToArjjiTrcric — “respector of persons” — ( personarum acceptor Vulg.) is a term founded 

upon the phrase, A.ap(3aveiv Ttpoaumov, an imitation of the Hebrew X5W, to accept the person, the 

presence; to have a favorable or partial regard to the outward appearance, — as opposed to O'* 33 to turn 

away the face (of the petitioner) i.e. to deny him favor or acceptance (1 Kgs. ii. 16, 17, 20; 2 Chron. vi. 42; cf. 
Gen. xxxii. 21; 1 Kgs. v. i.) — G.B.S. 

560 The pertinent comments of Dr. Gloag may here be fitly introduced (v. 35): “Peter is here speaking of the 
admissibility of the Gentiles into the Church of Christ; and he here asserts that there is no natural obstacle in 
the way of any one who fears God and works righteousness; that there is now no barrier such as circumcision, 
no external hindrance, but that all are equally acceptable to God. As Meyer well puts it, Sektoc; aurtp earlv in- 
dicates the capability in relation to God to become a Christian, but not the capability to be saved without Christ; 
or, as Bengel observes, non indifferentissimus religionum, sed indifferenta nationum hie asseritur.” (Gloag, Com. 
in loco). — G.B.S. 

561 There is no sufficient reason for the statement of Chrys. that those to whom Peter spoke did not know 
Jesus. It is meant that they were acquainted with the chief facts of his life. Grammatically Iqaouv (38) must be 
construed as the object (resumed in another form) of upEiq o!5are (37). Residents in Caesarea must have heard 
of Jesus’ teaching and miracles, during his lifetime on earth. Moreover, the apostles had taught in the neighboring 


286 


Homily XXIII on Acts x. 23, 24. 


r/TT 

good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil: by this he shows that many cases 
of lost senses or paralyzed limbs are the devil’s work, and a wrench given to the body by 
him: as also Christ said. “For God was with Him.” Again, lowly terms. “And we are witnesses 
of all things which He did, both in the country of the Jews, and in Jerusalem” (v. 39): both 
“we,” saith he, and ye. Then the Passion, and the reason why they do not believe: “Whom 
also they slew, and hanged on a tree. Him God raised up the third day, and showed Him 
openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did 
eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead.” (v. 40, 41.) This is a proof of the Re- 
surrection. “And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is He 
which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.” (v. 42.) This is great. Then 
he adduces the testimony from the Prophets: “To Him give all the prophets witness, that 
through His name, whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.” (v. 43.) This 
is a proof of that which was about to be: this is the reason why he here cites the Prophets. 

But let us look over again what relates to Cornelius. (Recapitulation.) He sent, it says, 
to Joppa to fetch Peter. “He was waiting for him,” etc; see how fully he believed that Peter 
would certainly come: (b) “and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.” (v. 24, 25.) 
(a) Mark how on every side it is shown how worthy he is! (So) the Eunuch there desired 
Philip to come up and sit in the chariot (ch. viii. 31), although not knowing who he was, 
upon no other introduction (sirayYsAiac;) than that given by the Prophet. But here Cornelius 
fell at his feet, (c) “Stand up, I myself also am a man.” (v. 26.) Observe how free from adulation 
his speech is on all occasions, and how full of humility. “And conversing with him, he came 
in.” (a) (v. 27.) Conversing about what? I suppose saying these words: “I myself also am a 
man.” (e) Do you mark (Peter’s) unassuming temper? He himself also shows that his coming 
is God’s doing: “Ye know that it is unlawful for a man that is a Jew,” etc. (v. 28.) And why 
did he not speak of the linen sheet? Observe Peter’s freedom from all vainglory: but, that 
he is sent of God, this indeed he mentions; of the manner in which he was sent, he speaks 
not at present; when the need has arisen, seeing he had said, “Ye know that it is unlawful 


cities and wrought miracles, and probably Philip had been for some little time residing and laboring in Caesarea 
itself (Acts viii. 40). — G.B.S. 

562 ’EvreuSev Saicvuai TtoAAaq ttripcoaeiq 5ia(3oAtKaq Kai StaaTpocpqv (B., Siaarpocpaq) atoparoq (Cat., 
atoparwv) un’ skevvou yevopevaq. The term nqpwaiq here includes loss of sight, speech, hearing, palsied or 
withered limbs. “He shows that these are diabolical, and that they are a violent wrenching, or distortion, of the 
body from its proper condition, caused by him.” The sense requires either Siaarpocpaq or yevopevqv. The next 
sentence, waTCp Kai 6 Xpiaroq eAeyev, omitted by Edd., though, except E., all the mss. and Cat. have it, may 
refer to such expressions as that in Luke xiii. 16. Or, it may be in its proper place after the following clause, “For 
God was with Him:” again, a lowly expression: just as Christ spake: “for My Father is with Me.” 

563 The letters denote the order of the parts in the mss. and Edd. 


287 


Homily XXIII on Acts x. 23, 24. 


for a man that is a Jew to keep company with, or to come unto, one of another nation,” he 
simply adds, “but to me God hath shown,” etc. There is nothing of vainglory here. “All ye,” 
he says, “know.” He makes their knowledge stand surety for him. But Cornelius says, “We 
are present before God to hear all things that are commanded thee of the Lord” (v. 33): not, 
Before man, but, “Before God.” This is the way one ought to attend to God’s servants. Do 
you see his awakened mind? do you see how worthy he was of all these things? “And Peter,” 
it says, “opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.” 
(v. 34.) This he said also by way of justifying himself with the Jews then present. For, being 
at the point to commit the Word to these (Gentiles), he first puts this by way of apology. 
What then? Was He “a respecter of persons” beforetime? God forbid! For beforetime likewise 
it was just the same: “Every one,” as he saith, “that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, 
would be acceptable to Him.” As when Paul saith, “For when the Gentiles which have not 
the Law, do by nature the things of the Law.” (Rom. ii. 14.) “That feareth God and worketh 
righteousness:” he assumes 564 both doctrine and manner of life: is “accepted with Him;” 
for, if He did not overlook the Magi, nor the Ethiopian, nor the thief, nor the harlot, much 
more them that work righteousness, and are willing, shall He in anywise not overlook. “What 
say you then to this, that there are likely persons (ETneiKei'c;), men of mild disposition, and 
yet they will not believe?” (Above, p. 149, note 2.) Lo, you have yourself named the cause: 
they will not. But besides the likely person he here speaks of is not this sort of man, but the 
man “that worketh righteousness:” that is, the man who in all points is virtuous and irre- 
proachable, when he has the fear of God as he ought to have it. But whether a person be 
such, God only knows. See how this man was acceptable: see how, as soon as he heard, he 
was persuaded. “Yes, and now too,” say you, “every one would be persuaded, be who he 
may.” But the signs that are now, are much greater than those, and more wonderful. — Then 
Peter commences his teaching, and reserves for the Jews the privilege of their birth. “The 565 
word,” he says, “which He sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace (v. 36), not 
bringing judgment. He is sent to the Jews also: yet for all this He did not spare them. 
“Preaching peace through Jesus Christ. He is Lord of all.” First he discourses of His being 
Lord and in exceeding elevated terms, seeing he had to deal with a soul more than commonly 


564 Kori Soypa ri0r|ai (E. Edd. eiaayet) Kai noAireiav. i. e. “it is assumed, or the case is put, that the person 
has the right doctrine, of the One True God (that feareth God), and that he is of a right conversation (that 
worketh righteousness.)” 

565 In the mss. and Edd. the order is confused. In the old text: “The word — Lord of all. First he discourses — with 
ardor. Yet for all this He did not spare them. Then he proves how He is Lord of all. Which He sent, preaching 
good tidings, not bringing judgment. [3.] He is sent from God to the Jews. Then He shows this withal from the 
things which He achieved,” etc. So, with verbal alterations, the modern text, except that it omits the clause, ou 
pf[v ou5e outwc ecpelaaro. 


288 


Homily XXIII on Acts x. 23, 24. 


elevated, and that took all in with ardor. Then he proves how He was Lord of all, from the 
things which He achieved “throughout all Judea. For ye know,” saith he, “the matter which 
came to pass throughout all Judea:” and, what is the wonderful part of it, “beginning at 
Galilee: after the baptism which John preached.” (v. 37.) First he speaks of His success, and 
then again he says concerning Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Why, what a stumbling-block, this 
birthplace! “How 566 God anointed Him with the Holy Ghost and with power.” (v. 38.) Then 
again the proof— how does that appear? — from the good that He did. “Who went about 
doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil:” and the greatness of the power 
shown when He overcomes the devil; and the cause, “Because God was with Him.” Therefore 
also the Jews spake thus: “We know that Thou art a teacher come from God: for none can 
do these miracles except God be with him.” (John iii. 2.) Then, when he has shown that He 

rfn 

was sent from God, he next speaks of this, that He was slain: that thou mayest not imagine 
aught absurd. Seest thou how far they are from hiding the Cross out of view, nay, that to- 
gether with the other circumstances they put also the manner? “Whom also,” it says, “they 
slew by hanging on a tree. And gave Him,” it is added, “to be made manifest not to all the 
people, but to witnesses before ordained of God, even unto us:” and yet it was (Christ) 
Himself that elected them; but this also he refers to God. “To the before- ordained,” he says, 
“even to us, who did eat and drink with Him after that He was risen from the dead.” (v. 39, 
41.) See whence he fetches his assurance of the resurrection. What is the reason that being 
risen he did no sign, but only ate and drank? Because the Resurrection itself was a great 

rzro 

sign, and of this nothing was so much a sign as the eating and drinking. “To testify,” saith 

he — in a manner calculated to alarm — that they may not have it in their power to fall back 
upon the excuse of ignorance: and he does not say, “that He is the Son of God,” but, what 
would most alarm them, “that it is He which is ordained of God, to be the Judge of quick 
and dead.” (v. 42.) “To him give all the Prophets witness,” etc. (v. 43.) When by the terror 
he has agitated them, then he brings in the pardon, not spoken from himself but from the 
Prophets. And what is terrifying is from him, what is mild from the Prophets. 

All ye that have received this forgiveness, all ye to whom it has been vouchsafed to attain 
unto faith, learn, I beseech you, the greatness of the Gift, and study not to be insolent to 
your Benefactor. For we obtained forgiveness, not that we should become worse, but to 


566 Here also the order in the mss. is confused. “Again proof. How God — with power. Whence does this appear? 
who went about — of the devil. Then from the good that He did, and the greatness,” etc. The modern text has 
the same order, and the alterations do not affect the sense. 

567 Perhaps it should be cpavraoBrj, “that he (Cornelius) may not imagine,” etc., therefore he mentions first 
the Divine Mission, then the Crucifixion. 

568 raurr|<; 5e ou5ev ourw oripeTov peRov r|v, d><; to cpayelv Kai tuelv. Cat. rightly omits peRov f|v. E. Edd. 
out ox; etc; dnoSa^iv peRov, tot;. 


289 


Homily XXIII on Acts x. 23, 24. 


make us far better and more excellent. Let none say that God is the cause of our evil doings, 
in that He did not punish, nor take vengeance. If (as it is said) a ruler having taken a mur- 
derer, lets him go, say, is he (not) 569 judged to be the cause of the murders afterwards 
committed? See then, how we expose God to the tongues of the wicked. For what do they 
not say, what leave unuttered? “(God) Himself,” say they, “allowed them; for he ought to 
have punished them as they deserved, not to honor them, nor crown them, nor admit them 
to the foremost privileges, but to punish and take vengeance upon them: but he that, instead 
of this, honors them, has made them to be such as they are.” Do not, I beseech and implore 
you, do not let any man utter such speech as far as we are concerned. Better to be buried 
ten thousand times over, than that God through us should be so spoken of! The Jews, we 
read, said to (Christ) Himself, “Thou that destroyest the Temple, and in three days buildest 
it up, come down from the Cross” (Matt, xxvii. 40): and again, “If Thou be the Son of God:” 
but the reproaches here are more grievous than those, that through us He should be 
called a teacher of wickedness! Let us cause the very opposite to be said, by having our 
conversation worthy of Him that calleth us, and (worthily) approaching to the baptism of 
adoption. For great indeed is the might of baptism (cpconaparou): it makes them quite 
other men than they were, that partake of the gift; it does not let the men be men (and 


569 The original reporter seems to have misunderstood what was said. If etTt£ pot be retained, we must read 
ouxt auroq The sense is, “Take heed lest any lay the blame of your evil doings upon God. For you know what 
would be said of a magistrate who should let a murderer go unpunished; that he would be held responsible for 
all the murders that may be afterwards done by that man, or in consequence of his impunity. Dread lest through 
your misconduct God be thus blasphemed.” But — as if Chrysostom’s meaning had been, Since God’s purpose 
in forgiving us our sins was, that we should lead more virtuous and holy lives, therefore let none presume to say 
that God, by forgiving us, is the cause of the evil doings of which we are afterwards guilty” — the modern text 
(E. D. F. Edd.) goes on thus: “For say, if a magistrate, etc. is he judged to be the cause of the murders thereafter 
committed? By no means. And how is it that we ourselves, while, by the things we dare to do, we expose God 
to be insulted by godless tongues, do not fear and shudder? For what,” etc. 

570 E. D. F. Edd. “Therefore, that it may not be possible for Flim through us to be called, etc., and lest by the 
very fact of His being thus blasphemed; we ourselves become liable to the punishment thereof (‘For through 
you,’ it is written, ‘My Name is blasphemed among the Gentiles,’) let us cause the very opposite to be said, by 
having our conversation worthy of Him that calleth us, and (worthily) approaching to the baptism of adoption. 
For great indeed,” etc. In C. it is: “teacher of wickedness. Let us cause the very opposite to be said. For great in- 
deed.” etc. B. “teacher of wickedness. For great indeed,” etc. But the genuineness of the latter clauses, d^lux; rou 
KaA-oOvroq TtoArreuopsvot Kat ru> rrjq uloSealaq Ttpoatovreq (3aimapcm, which are also needed by the following 
context, is attested by A. which retains them; for this ms. abridges much, but never borrows from the modern 


text. 


290 


Homily XXIII on Acts x. 23, 24. 


nothing more). Make thou the Gentile (rov 'TAAqva), to believe that great is the might of 
the Spirit, that it has new-moulded, that it has fashioned thee anew. Why waitest thou for 
the last gasp, like a runaway slave, like a malefactor, as though it were not thy duty to live 
unto God? Why dost thou stand affected to Him, as if thou hadst in Him a ruthless, cruel 
Master? What can be more heartless (^uxporepov), what more miserable, than those who 
make that the time to receive baptism? God made thee a friend, and vouchsafed thee all His 
good things, that thou mayest act the part of a friend. Suppose you had done some man the 
greatest of wrongs, had insulted him, and brought upon him disgraces without end, suppose 
you had fallen into the hands of the person wronged, and he, in return for all this, had 
honored you, made you partaker of all that he had, and in the assembly of his friends, of 
those in whose presence he was insulted, had crowned you, and declared that he would hold 
you as his own begotten son, and then straightway had died: say, would you not have bewailed 
him? would you not have deemed his death a calamity? would you not have said, Would 
that he were alive, that I might have it in my power to make the fit return, that I might requite 
him, that I might show myself not base to my benefactor? So then, where it is but man, this 
is how you would act; and where it is God, are you eager to be gone, that you may not requite 
your benefactor for so great gifts? Nay rather, choose the time for coming to Him so that 
you shall have it in your power to requite Him like for like. True, say you, but I cannot 
keep (the gift). Has God commanded impossibilities? Hence it is that all is clean reversed, 
hence that, all the world over, every thing is marred — because nobody makes it his mark to 
live after God. Thus those who are yet Catechumens, because they make this their object, 
(how they may defer baptism to the last,) give themselves no concern about leading an upright 
life: and those who have been baptized (cpoouaGevrep), whether it be because they received 
it as children, or whether it be that having received it in sickness, and afterwards recovered 
(dveveyKOvrep), they had no hearty desire to live on (to the glory of God), so it is, that 
neither do these make an earnest business of it: nay, even such as received it in health, have 
little enough to show of any good impression, and warmly affected for the time, these also 
presently let the fire go out. Why do you flee? why do you tremble? what is it you are afraid 


571 Here all the mss. have Tt (peuyeu;; Tt Tpepetq; rl SeSottcat;; (Edd. omit the two latter clauses,) which, being 
out of place here, and required below, we have transposed to the beginning of the set of questions Mr] yap outc 
evt k. r. A. — Below, he laments that the Catechumens, while delaying their baptism, if possible, to their dying 
hour, think themselves no way concerned to lead a virtuous life: of the baptism he distinguishes three classes: 
1. those who received the sacrament in infancy; 2. those who were baptized in sickness and fear of death, but 
afterwards recovered: both which sorts, he says, are alike careless (the former because baptized in unconscious 
infancy), the latter because they did not think to survive, and had no hearty desire to live to the glory of God; 
3. those baptized in mature age, and in health; and these also, if at the time their affections were kindled, soon 
let the flame go out. 


291 



Homily XXIII on Acts x. 23, 24. 


of? You do not mean to say that you are not permitted to follow your business? I do not 
part you from your wife! No, it is from fornication that I bar you. I do not debar you from 
the enjoyment of your wealth? No, but from covetousness and rapacity. I do not oblige you 
to empty out all your coffers? No, but to give some small matter according to your means 
to them that lack, your superfluities to their need, and not even this unrewarded. We do 
not urge you to fast? We do but forbid you to besot yourselves with drunkenness and gor- 
mandizing. The things we would retrench are but the very things which bring you disgrace; 
things which even here, on this side of hell-fire, you yourselves confess to be things to be 
shunned and hated. We do not forbid you to be glad and to rejoice? Nay, only rejoice not 
with a disgraceful and unbecoming merriment. What is it you dread, why are you afraid, 
why do you tremble? Where marriage is, where enjoyment of wealth, where food in moder- 
ation, what matter of sin is there in these things? And yet, they that are without enjoin the 
opposites to these, and are obeyed. For they demand not according to thy means, but they 

r'7'i 

say, Thou must give thus much: and if thou allege poverty, they will make no account of 
that. Not so Christ: Give, saith He, of what thou hast, and I inscribe thee in the first rank. 
Again those say, If thou wilt distingui